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On the evening of Monday, March 16, French President Emmanuel macron made a televised address to the nation, in which he announced the introduction of a quarantine in the country in connection with the spread of the coronavirus. The restrictive measures come into force on March 17 and will last for at least 15 days.

French people should only leave their homes if they need to buy food, visit a doctor, or go to work if they can’t work remotely. Any gatherings on the street are prohibited. Penalties are provided for violations of this regime.

The President of the country said that he was forced to take such measures because the French did not follow the recommendations of doctors and went out EN masse on the streets and in parks. “Not only are you not taking care of yourself, you are not taking care of your loved ones,” macron said.

Previously, cafes, restaurants, cinemas and non-food stores were closed. Pharmacies, grocery stores, banks, gas stations and tobacco kiosks will remain open.

“Never before has France taken such measures in peacetime,” the head of state said.

Macron also announced the postponement of the second round of municipal elections. All reforms, including pension reform, are suspended. The government will only deal with the crisis situation.

The French interior Ministry announced the mobilization of 100,000 police and gendarmes to ensure the quarantine regime. “These are unprecedented measures,” macron said, ” But we are at war, a sanitary war. The enemy is invisible ( … ) But we will defeat it.”

The President announced the involvement of the army in the fight against the epidemic. In Alsace, where the epidemiological situation is most severe, a field hospital will be deployed to treat those infected with the coronavirus. The military will also transport patients from overcrowded hospitals in the most affected areas to clinics in other regions.

For businesses, payment of taxes, social contributions and payment of rental of premises will be suspended. In addition, it is planned to freeze the payment of interest on loans to businesses. France will create a Fund for 300 billion euros, which will become a guarantor for business on Bank loans.

“Starting tomorrow, the charging of water, electricity and gas bills, as well as rent will be suspended, so that no one will be left without money,” the President said.

Special protective masks will be delivered to all pharmacies in the country, and all therapists and nurses in private practice will receive them. The country’s authorities will also pay for medical workers fighting the epidemic to stay in hotels for recreation and taxi services.

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