Macron orders closure of schools amid surge in coronavirus cases

WION Web Team
Paris, FranceUpdated: Apr 01, 2021, 08:52 AM IST

A file photo of French President Emmanuel Macron. Photograph:(AFP)

Story highlights

Defending his move to not shut down the country in January during a surge helped the economy, Macron claimed

Amid a surge of coronavirus cases in France, President Emmanuel Macron has announced a nationwide closure of schools and a limited lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.

In a bid to confront the COVID-19 infections, Macron has ordered a temporary closure of all schools in the area a few days after announcing that the country will not be going into a lockdown.

"We have adopted a strategy since the beginning of the year that aims to contain the epidemic without shutting ourselves in," he said.

The 43-year-old leader has faced immense criticism from the opposition for not being able to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

Macron had taken the decision to not impose a third lockdown despite the recommendation from medical experts and doctors.

On Wednesday, while addressing the nation with the concern of rising cases, Macron announced the tightening of restrictions in form of school closure, travel restrictions across the country and closure of non-essential shops.

However, as expected, the President did not ask people to stay at home or avoid public gatherings.

Defending his move to not shut down the country in January during a surge helped the economy, he claimed. Macron said by not imposing lockdown, "we gained precious weeks of liberty, weeks of learning for our children, we allowed hundreds of thousands of workers to keep their head above water, without losing control of the epidemic".

On Wednesday, the European nation registered more than 53,000 new cases and 304 new deaths, bring its total toll to 95,667.

The number is expected to rise as more and more people are stepping outdoors to enjoy the incoming summer sun in parks.

He also took this opportunity to urge people to go and get vaccinated. "Thanks to the vaccine, the way out of the crisis is emerging," he said. "We will do everything to vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate! Without rest, without holidays. Saturday and Sunday just like in the week."