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France tightening COVID-19 restrictions as infections accelerate

France tightening COVID-19 restrictions as infections accelerate
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The French government will impose stronger restrictions in some regions, including Paris, as it combats rising coronavirus infections.

Government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said the new measures will include some form of confinement, Reuters reports, with weekend lockdowns and nationwide curfews having already been announced. Attal added that the new restrictions will not include school closures.

The restrictions will be fully announced on Thursday by French Prime Minister Jean Castex.

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Reuters notes that the vaccine rollout that French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronEU urges Biden administration to increase vaccine exports Thousands march in May Day protests across France The Hill's Morning Report - Biden launches blitz for jobs plan with 'thank you, Georgia' MORE had hoped would prevent another wave of infections has been stymied by a troublesome vaccine procurement process by the European Union, supply difficulties and public skepticism. The recent suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine has also deterred vaccine administration.

"We are living through the hardest weeks now. We know it,” Macron said on Wednesday.

According to the French government, more than 5 million people have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. France has a population of over 67 million, according the World Bank's most recent estimate in 2019.

France announced this week that it would be suspending administration of the British AstraZeneca vaccine amid concerns and reports that it may cause blood clots. Still, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday recommended continued use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying its benefits outweigh the risks.

The European Union, which France is a member of, has approved four vaccines: the one from AstraZeneca as well as vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.