Covid: France announces further coronavirus restrictions in bid to quell third wave

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Geraint Vincent

France's President Emmanuel Macron has announced a three-week nationwide school closure and domestic travel ban amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the country.

The restrictions, which have already been in place in several regions of France, will come into place on Saturday, Mr Macron said on Wednesday.

In a televised address to the nation on Wednesday night, Mr Macron said efforts are needed as "the epidemic is accelerating".

He described the measures as "reinforced breaking" and they will include schools temporarily closing for three weeks.

He said: "We will lose control if we do not move now."

An overnight nationwide curfew from 7pm to 6am has been in place since January, and all France’s restaurants, bars, gyms, cinemas and museums have been closed since October.

In Paris and other regions where the virus is spreading rapidly, residents already have extra restrictions on movement and non-essential stores are closed.

The move is a departure from the government’s policy in recent months, which has focused on regionalised restrictions. School closures in particular had been seen as a very last resort.

A debate is scheduled in parliament Thursday that will address the virus situation and the new measures.