Covid: France to impose 9pm curfew in bid to suppress second Covid wave

Video report by ITV News Europe Editor James Mates

A curfew from 9pm to 6am is being imposed on Paris and eight other French cities in a bid to halt spiralling Covid infection rates in the country, French President Emmanuel Macron has said.

Addressing the nation, the French president said: "We have to act" - while he confirmed the curfew will come into effect from Saturday and last for at least four weeks.

"We need to put a brake on the spread of the virus," Mr Macron added.

How do cases in France compare to elsewhere?

The curfew will apply to the capital Paris and its suburbs as well as Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Aix-en-Provence, Rouen, Toulouse, Grenoble and Montpellier.

The announcement comes as France has declared a public health emergency which had expired on July 10.

The move will allow the government to enforce stricter measures in the future, either locally or nationally.

Schools will remain open and people will still be able to travel between regions during the day.

Bar and owners and waiters, hold placards during a protest in Paris against new restrictions. Credit: AP

Patients with Covid-19 occupy a third of intensive care units nationwide.

France reported about 180 positive cases per 100,000 people during the last week and higher concentrations in some cities.

The country has 798,000 confirmed cases and almost 33,000 deaths.

France initially declared a state of health emergency in March, paving the way for the government to urge people to stay at home during lockdown.