'We are at war': France's president just announced a 15-day lockdown, banning public gatherings and walks outdoors

ReutersFrench President Macron.
  • France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, announced on Monday that the country would enact a 15-day lockdown, prohibiting residents from leaving their homes unless absolutely necessary.
  • Activities like group gatherings outdoors or a walk outside are banned, Macron said. Those who cannot work from home and those seeking medical care will be allowed to leave their homes.
  • The European Union will also restrict travel from non-EU countries for 30 days, he added.
  • France reported 5,400 cases of COVID-19 and 127 coronavirus-related deaths as of Monday.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, announced on Monday that the country would enact a 15-day lockdown as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

Any public gatherings are banned starting midday Tuesday and for 15 days after, Macron said. He said that includes activities such as walks outside.

Macron told French residents not to leave their homes or meet with other people unless absolutely necessary.

People unable to work from home or those seeking medical care will be allowed to go outside, Macron said, but others will be required to stay inside their homes.

He told French residents to take public transit only if absolutely necessary and to buy only essential groceries.

Macron said people who violate the lockdown will be punished, and added that details of the shutdown would be given to the public following his address.

Macron also said that travel between the European Union and non-EU countries would be restricted for 30 days starting Tuesday at noon. French citizens will be exempt and should contact their local embassies if they are abroad and want to return home, Macron said.

Over 5,400 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, have been reported in France as of Monday. The death toll has reached 127.

This weekend, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the country would shut most shops, restaurants, and entertainment facilities as the country grapples with the coronavirus.

“I have decided to close all non-indispensable locations, notably caf├ęs, restaurants, cinemas, nightclubs, and shops,” he said. “We must absolutely limit our movements.”

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