France’s government has not yet decided whether the country will move into a third lockdown to curb the coronavirus epidemic and notably the circulation of new variants of the virus, French European Affairs minister Clement Beaune said on Monday.
“Nothing has yet been decided. There are scenarios (on the table) but no decision yet,” Beaune told Radio Classique when asked if a lockdown could be announced as early as this week.
Earlier, the head of the country’s Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) health regulator had called the Covid-19 situation in France “worrying”.
“It is a worrying moment. We are looking at the figures, day by day. We need to take measures pretty quickly….but at the same time, not too hastily,” HAS head Dominique Le Guludec told France Inter radio on Monday.
A day earlier, Jean-François Delfraissy, head of the scientific council that advises the government on Covid-19, had said that France probably needed a third national lockdown, perhaps as early as the February school holidays, because of the circulation of new variants of the virus.
France is currently in a nationwide 6pm to 6am curfew, in a bid to slow down the spread of the virus, but the average number of new infections has increased from 18,000 per day to more than 20,000.
France has the world’s seventh-highest Covid-19 death toll, with more than 73,000 deaths.