The French government has imposed a month-long lockdown on Paris and parts of northern France after a faltering vaccine rollout and spread of highly contagious coronavirus variants forced the president, Emmanuel Macron, to shift course.
The prime minister, Jean Castex, said on Thursday that France was in the grip of a third wave, with the virulent variant first detected in Britain now accounting for about 75% of cases. Intensive care wards are under severe strain, notably in Paris where the incidence rate surpasses 400 infections in every 100,000 inhabitants. “The epidemic is getting worse. Our responsibility now is to not let it escape our control,” Castex told a news conference.