Oct 28, 2020 - World

France imposes lockdown as Macron warns of overwhelming second COVID wave

Picture of French President Emmanuel Macron wearing a mask.
French President Emmanuel Macron. Photo: LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday a second nationwide lockdown starting Friday to contain the coronavirus.

Why it matters: “(France has been) overpowered by a second wave,” Macron said in a national televised address Wednesday, noting the "new wave will be stronger and deadlier," than the first. The announcement comes after the country saw over 36,000 new cases in the last 24 hours.

Details: Though non-essential businesses, including bars and restaurants, will close, schools and factories will remain open. Macron said the measures come as an attempt to implement a “brutal break” to the spread of COVID-19.

  • People will only be allowed to leave home for essential work or medical reasons.
  • Macron added that the lockdown will be eased once new daily infections fall back to about 5,000.

The big picture: France has seen over 1.2 million cases and more than 35,000 deaths since the pandemic began, per John Hopkins University.

  • The country's first lockdown took place this spring and lasted eight weeks.

Go deeper: France becomes 2nd Western European country to top 1M coronavirus cases

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