Paris, Jan 2 (IANS) The French government announced on Friday that the nationwide curfew to contain the coronavirus epidemic will be brought forward by two hours in 15 regions worst hit by the infections.
Starting from Saturday, the curfew imposed in these regions -- mostly in the northeast and southeast -- will start from 6 p.m., instead of 8 p.m. in force in other parts of the country, said government spokesman Gabriel Attal, Xinhua news agency reported.
"The virus continues to circulate in France...with a disparity between regions," said Attal when announcing the move on television channel TF1.
"In a week, we will take stock of the effects (of the measures) and the circulation of the virus" and this restriction will be be reassessed, he said.
If the situation were to deteriorate further in certain territories, necessary decisions will be taken, he added.
As of Thursday, France has the fifth highest COVID-19 infections cases in the world, at 2,620,425 in total, with a death toll of 64,632.
The country went into its first lockdown from March to May, followed by another less strict one from October 30 to December 14. Businesses are now open, although restaurants, bars and cinemas remain closed. A nationwide nighttime curfew is in place to stem the spread of the disease.