The region around the northern French port of Dunkirk will begin implementing a weekend stop from the weekend to stop a rise in Covid-19 infections, Health Minister Olivier Véran said on Wednesday.
Mr Véran said the situation in the Dunkirk area was “alarming” and that France would also increase vaccine supplies to the area.
The announcement was expected, after the infection rate in the area exceeded 900 per 100,000 people, almost nine times the national average.
Infections have reached alarming levels in several other parts of the country, government spokesman Gabriel Attal told reporters after a weekly government meeting.
The warning comes just days after the French Riviera was ordered to lock in over the next two weekends to contain Covid-19, which has spread faster in tourist hotspots than anywhere else in France, and border controls have been tightened.
Attal said similar moves may be necessary elsewhere due to “a deteriorating situation” which he said “requires swift and strong action”.
About 10 of France’s 102 territorial units, so-called departments, were now in a “very worrying situation”, Attal said.
“We must continue all our efforts to avoid having to impose another national suspension,” he said.
There was “obviously” no guarantee that such a drastic measure could be avoided, he said, warning that the government would not hesitate to order such a measure if it was deemed necessary.
Prime Minister Jean Castex will host a press conference to update the country on the situation in Covid-19 on Thursday, Attal said.
( Jowharwith REUTERS and AFP)