France extends coronavirus lockdown by two weeks to April 15

Local residents walk on the deserted Place Vendome in Paris as a lockdown is imposed to slow the rate of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France, March 27, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said in a speech the government had decided to extend the country’s coronavirus lockdown by two weeks until April 15.

“After these first 10 days of confinement, it is clear that we are just at the beginning of this epidemic wave. It has submerged eastern France and now it is arriving in the Paris region and northern France,” Philippe said.

He said for this reason, the confinement period would be extended by two weeks from Tuesday next week, and added that the same rules would apply. He said that this period would only be extended again if the health situation required it.

Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten and Marine Pennetier; Writing by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Alex Richardson