All options on the table in coronavirus crisis, French minister says

FILE PHOTO: French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire speaks during a press conference in Paris

Mon, 29 March 2021, 7:49 am

PARIS (Reuters) -Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday that health conditions were worsening during a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic in France and “all options are on the table” to protect the public.

Le Maire also told France Info radio that France should avoid adopting stricter COVID-19 restriction measures for as long as it could, and ruled out changing the list of shops and businesses that have been allowed to stay open.

“This list will not change,” Le Maire said. “Today sending the signal that we would reopen some businesses while the situation deteriorates, it’s not in the country’s interest.”

Under COVID-19 restrictions in place in 19 high-risk zones, including Paris, stores allowed to stay open include those selling food, books, flowers and chocolate, and hairdressers.

Clothes, furniture and beauty shops are not allowed to open. This has led to frustration among the so-called non-essential shop owners forced to stay closed.

President Emmanuel Macron last week defended his decision not to impose a third full lockdown and to keep schools open, but said further restrictions would probably be needed.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Alex Richardson and Timothy Heritage)

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