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France tightens Covid-19 restrictions

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Paris, March 5 : To contain the spread of new coronavirus variants in France, Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced a weekend lockdown in additional areas, tougher rules against social mixing in high-risk regions and faster vaccination rollout.
The northern department of Pas-de-Calais will move into lockdown starting this weekend, Xinhua news agency quoted Castex as saying in his announcement on Thursday.
The incidence rate there hit 400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, double the national average. The number of new infections surged by 23 percent in the last five days.
As in Alpes-Maritimes and Dunkirk, people in Pas-de-Calais have to stay at home from 6 a.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday, announced Castex at the weekly press conference on the sanitary situation.
He said that three departments, Hautes-Alpes, Aisne and Aube, are added to the list of high-alert zones, where large malls will close and mask-wearing will be reinforced in all urban areas starting from Friday midnight.
Local authorities will have the power to impose a ban on public gatherings on weekends in most crowded areas in these departments “under reinforced surveillance,” Castex said, calling on inhabitants to limit their travel as much as possible.


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