Macron warned France faces ‘tragedy England experienced’ if third lockdown not enforced

Macron slammed by French residents for slow EU vaccine rollout

The French president has so far been reluctant to impose a third lockdown in place, as France is already subject to a curfew and other restrictions. However, members of Mr Macron’s scientific counsel are said to be warning the leader that the country’s current measures are not enough.

Professor Arnaud Fontanet, a member of France’s Scientific Council, has compared France’s potential future to what England has already faced, according to The Times.

The council member, reportedly speaking to Journal du Dimanche, said France could be “surprised by the acceleration of the pandemic,” adding: “This is the tragedy that the English experienced.”

Professor Fontanet also pointed to the UK’s Covid-19 variant, which he claimed could be dominant in France by the start of March, The Times added.

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Last week, France’s Prime Minister, Jean Castex, said the situation in France “does not justify” a national lockdown, which he described as a “last resort”.

According to the most recent data published on Sunday by the French Government, the country yesterday recorded 19,715 new cases of coronavirus, along with 171 new deaths.

It brings the total number of confirmed cases to 3,337,048, and the total number of deaths to 78,965.

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The number of daily infections in France has been decreasing over the past few days.

Although France is not currently in a national lockdown, it is enforcing various rules to control virus spread.

Some shops are open and some places may provide a takeaway service.

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However, businesses must close by 6pm each day as a curfew is in place.

The curfew also affects pedestrians, who must justify being outdoors after that time. Excuses such as dog-walking are acceptable.

Professor Fontanet has said there is only a “slim chance” these measures will be sufficient to avoid a third lockdown.

Mr Macron is under pressure to boost the country’s vaccine programme after being criticised for a slow start.

On Saturday, France began inoculating its citizens with the British Oxford-AstraZeneca jab after securing hundreds of thousands of doses.

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