France's COVID-19 situation fragile but new lockdown not inevitable, says government

FILE PHOTO: French Government’s spokesperson Gabriel Attal removes his protective face mask during a news conference following the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, September 28, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) – The COVID-19 situation in France remains fragile but a new national lockdown is not necessarily inevitable, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday.

Attal said that while the figures for new COVID-19 cases were high, and even though the emergence of new variants was worrying, the overall situation was stable.

“A lockdown is not predestined, and our collective efforts will allow us to avoid this,” Attal told reporters.

He added that for now, there were no plans to change the February school holiday calendar – seen as a key precursor to any later moves towards a full national lockdown.

France, which has the seventh-biggest COVID-19 death toll in the world, has opted to stick with its current 6 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew, instead of going for the fuller lockdowns seen in the likes of the United Kingdom and Germany.

France has more than 3.2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, and more than 77,000 deaths.

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