Politics 10:41 17/03/2020 World

Macron on coronavirus: ‘We’re at war’

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday announced a nationwide lockdown for at least 15 days starting Tuesday at noon, as France steps up its efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.

"We are at war," Macron said multiple times during a 20-minute televised speech, according to Politico

While calling on the French people to "keep calm," he ordered extraordinary measures never before taken during peacetime.

People will only be allowed to leave their homes for necessary outings.

"As of tomorrow at noon, and for 15 days at least, our movements will be severely reduced," Macron said. "Across the French territory, only necessary outings like buying groceries, while respecting guidelines … necessary outings to seek medical care, necessary outings to go to work when working remotely is not possible and necessary outings to do a little bit of physical activity but without meeting up with friends or family.”

Paying visits to family or meeting up with friends will be banned.

"All infractions will be punished," Macron said. "There will be checks and controls in place."

Macron also announced the postponement of the second round of local elections that was meant to be held next Sunday, as well as the suspension of all reforms underway, "starting with pension reform," so that all government resources can be allocated to curbing the coronavirus outbreak.

The military will also be deployed to set up a hospital in Alsace in the east of France, one of the most affected areas, and to transport patients in heavily affected areas to hospitals elsewhere.

Macron also announced the closing of the EU's external borders as of Tuesday noon for non-EU citizens.

As millions of French citizens now face what Macron called "life in slow-motion," he called on them to spend the time "reading, reflecting on what is essential" and said the nation would "prevail."



Source Panorama.am
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