New Delhi: French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday announced a second nationwide lockdown until “at least December 1”. As a result, all non-essential activities like restaurants and bars will be shut, but schools and factories will remain open.Also Read - Complete Restriction on People's Movement, Travel Bans Can Be Counterproductive in Containing Covid: WHO India Head

The national lockdown will be effective from Friday. Also Read - No Lockdown in Karnataka, Decision on Weekend/Night Curfew On Friday: Minister Amid Rising Cases | Read Details

The number of new cases was already significantly higher than during the first wave. Notably, over 33,000 new cases were recorded on Tuesday, while the number of COVID-19 deaths has been the highest since April. Also Read - Abu Dhabi New Travel Rules: Booster Dose Now Mandatory To Enter the Emirate | Guidelines Here

As of 12 midnight from October 23 until early December, people must stay at home between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m, the French president announced.

“The virus is being transmitted across France at a speed that even the most pessimistic did not predict,” Macron said.

“Like last spring, you will be able to leave your home only for work, for a doctor’s visit, to help a relative, do essential shopping or go out shortly for air.

“If in two weeks, we have the situation under better control, we will be able to re-evaluate things and hopefully open some businesses, in particular for the Christmas holiday,” he said.

Notably, several other European countries including Spain and Germany have also seen a surge of cases recently.

Germany’s federal and state governments have agreed to introduce sweeping contact restrictions on everyday life to curb the steep rise of COVID-19 infections. The order will be effective from November 2.