- Title: France to close shops, restaurants to fight coronavirus
- Date: 14th March 2020
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (MARCH 14, 2020) (AGENCY POOL) (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRIME MINISTER, EDOUARD PHILIPPE, SAYING: "We've seen too many people in the cafes and restaurants. This would make me happy in normal times, because it's the France that we all love. But for some weeks, it's not what we should be doing."
- Keywords: COVID-19 Edouard Philippe containment measures coronavirus social distancing
- Reuters ID: LVA007C50XS1Z
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Duration: 00:00:17
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: France will shut most shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities from midnight on Saturday (March 14) as part of measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said.
He was speaking at a news conference after the public health authority said 91 people had died in France and almost 4,500 were now infected.
Philippe said the government had been left with no choice but to take the decision because too many people were still out in the streets and not sufficiently applying measures that were recently announced. That, he said, was helping accelerate the spread of the virus.
"I have decided to close all non-indispensable locations," he said, adding that exceptions to the shop ban would include food stores, pharmacies and petrol stations, saying movements must be "absolutely limited".
However, he said local elections on Sunday (May 15) would go ahead.
Jerome Salomon, the head of the French public health authority, said there had been a rapid increase in serious cases, including 300 people in intensive care, half of whom were below 60 years of age.
"I am conscious of the efforts and sacrifices that we are asking, but I have faith that the French people will have the capacity to understand the seriousness of this moment," Philippe said.
(Production: Yiming Woo, Michaela Cabrera)
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