Nice, Cannes, other 61 French Riviera towns put under weekend lockdown

Photo: AP

A total of 63 towns and suburbs along the French Riviera, including Nice and Cannes will be subject to a new weekend lockdown, AFP reported. France will apply a localised lockdown over the next two weekends in coastal areas of its southeastern Alpes-Maritimes department, Prefect Bernard Gonzalez announced on Monday.

He said monitoring at airports and at the Italian border would also be stepped up and the Covid-19 vaccination campaign accelerated in the department, hard-hit by a surge of infections.

The weekend lockdown, brought in due to rising Covid-19 infections and overrun hospital wards, means residents will be allowed to go out for one hour daily so long as they stay within a radius of five kilometres from their homes during the lockdown which will start at 6pm on Fridays and end at 6am on Mondays. Gonzalez added that stores larger than 5,000 square metres would be closed.

The department currently has the highest rate of Covid-19 infections in France. The outbreak in Nice had been described as out of control, with the city recording 700 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants. France has so far avoided imposing a third nationwide lockdown to fight the virus, in contrast with some of its neighbours, in what analysts see as a risky gamble by President Emmanuel Macron to allow the economy to gain some steam.

After a slow start, France’s vaccination campaign has gained some momentum with more than 2.5m people receiving a dose and, of those, over 1.1m have had both doses.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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