‘We are at war’: French President Macron announces 15-day lockdown over COVID-19

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French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday ordered strict restrictions on people’s movements to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and said the army would be drafted in to help move the sick to hospitals.

“I know what I am asking of you is unprecedented, but circumstances demand it. We are at war,” Macron said.

The French president announced measures to “severely restrict movements for the next 15 days at least,” starting at midday Tuesday, and urged people to stay at home unless they need to buy groceries, travel to work, exercise or seek medical care.

France has 6,633 confirmed cases and 148 deaths, the Health Ministry announced on Monday.

Macron said he was postponing the second round of local elections on Sunday and suspending the government’s reform agenda, starting with his overhaul of the pension system.

In addition, all the country’s borders will be closed as of Tuesday noon. All travel between European countries will be suspended.

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