France widens restrictions to more regions as epidemic situation worsens
French Health Minister Olivier Veran on Thursday announced "reinforced braking measures" in three more COVID-19 high-risk regions -- Rhone, Aube and Nievre -- in a bid to contain a third wave of the pandemic, Xinhua reports.
Starting from Friday midnight, outdoor gatherings are limited to six people in these three departments, and daytime travel less than 10 km from home is allowed while those within a 30-km radius of a person's home require a signed document.
Inter-regional travel will be banned but schools will remain open with reinforced health protocol, according to the minister.
The new restrictions are set to last for at least four weeks, which officials hope will be enough time to ease pressure on hospitals while more people get vaccinated.
On Thursday, a further 45,641 people have diagnosed with COVID-19, the highest one-day increase since Nov. 17, 2020.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, some 4,424,087 people have caught the disease in the country, of whom 93,378 have died, up by 225 within a day.
Some 160 patients were admitted to hospitals in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 27,036. Of those hospitalized, 4,709 people were in intensive care.
So far, 7,168,437 people in the country have received at least one injection, or 13.6 percent of the adult population. Some 2,610,990 people have got the two shots, representing 5.0 percent of the adult population, according to data released by the Health Ministry.