Coronavirus: French President Macron declares second national lockdown in France

France is bracing for a return to a full lockdown throughout November, after President Emmaunel Macron announced drastic measures to prevent the nation being “overwhelmed by a second wave that no doubt will be harder than the first".

Mr Macron said the French Government had to “apply the brakes brutally” after the country recorded 52,000 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday.

Daily deaths have reached their highest level since April, and half of all intensive care beds at French hospitals are currently occupied by Covid patients.

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Announcing the fresh lockdown in a live televised address, Mr Macron said the new measures, which will come into force on Friday, will mean people can only leave home for essential work or medical reasons.

Non-essential businesses, like restaurants and bars, will close - but schools and factories will remain open, he explained.

The decision follows the imposition of night curfews on some 46 million French citizens as part of regional efforts to stem the spread of the virus earlier this month.

The new rules will mean social gatherings are once again banned, and people will need to fill out a form to justify leaving their homes.

"Like in the spring, you will be able to leave your house only to work, for a medical appointment, to provide assistance to a relative, to shop for essential goods or to get some air near your house," Mr Macron told the French people.

French President Emmanuel Macron is seen on a TV screen in Paris on October 28, 2020, as he delivers an evening televised address to the nation, to announce new measures aimed curbing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Like in March, citizens will be allowed to exercise for one hour each day, and must work from home unless their employer deems it impossible.

But care home visits, which were banned during France’s first lockdown, will be allowed.

Mr Macron said he hoped that the measures, which will be enforced until December 1 at the earliest, will mean “families will be able to be reunited for Christmas".

Similar measures could come into effect across other countries in Europe.

Clients watch French President Emmanuel Macron's evening televised address to the nation in a cafe in Bordeaux, southern France. (Photo by Philippe LOPEZ / AFP)

Earlier today German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that her country needed a "major national effort" to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Germany recorded more than 11,000 new cases of the disease on Tuesday, as the infection rate nationally accelerates.

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