With cases in France beginning to rise yet again, the President decided to postpone reopening bars and restaurants for at least a month. No set date has been given for when hospitality industries can reopen, putting the country further into an economic crisis. Due to the economic damage delivered to businesses, President of the National Rally party, Marine Le Pen, stated Mr Macron had delivered a “death sentence” to the economy.
She said: “The decision to postpone the reopening of restaurants, bars and gyms for at least a month is for many of them a death sentence.
“The government must urgently put in place an ad hoc financial mechanism to avoid the ruin of these courageous entrepreneurs who are essential to our country.”
France’s Prime Minister, Jean Castex, stated the situation in the country had not changed during an announcement on Thursday.
He stated any chance of reopening bars and restaurants is completely “unrealistic”.
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Mr Castex said on Thursday: “The health situation has not returned to normal.
“All activities and facilities that are closed today will remain closed until the end of this month.
“The prospect of a reopening in January is unrealistic and postponed at least until mid-February.”
In France, the country has a strict curfew in place between 8pm to 6am.
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However, some regions in the east have a more strict curfew running for 12 hours between 6pm to 6am.
A partial border closure between France and the UK will remain in order to stop the new strain of the virus – the closure was introduced on December 20.
France did come out of its second national lockdown on December 15 and had hoped to open hospitality venues later that month.
While France currently has an infection rate lower than the UK’s, the country has been criticised for its slow vaccine rollout.
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Although the EU began the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine on December 27, France has struggled to vaccinate its population.
While Germany had vaccinated 250,000 in the first week, France had only reported 530.
That number increased to 45,500 on Friday but it still dwarfed by the UK which has so far managed close to 1.3 million as of January 3.
Chief among the problems for France’s vaccination programme is the high level of scepticism to the jab.
Overall, the EU has struggled to begin its vaccination rollout despite the European Medicine Agency sanctioning the use of two drugs.
With states struggling to control virus levels, the EU Commission has announced a purchase of a further 300 million extra doses.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.
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