Macron says France will get through coronavirus by being responsible

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron arrive to cast their ballots during the first round of the mayoral elections in Le Touquet, France, March 15, 2020. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/Pool

PARIS (Reuters) - President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that the government had no option but to impose stricter measures to tackle the coronavirus, but that the country would get through the crisis if it acted responsibly.

“I am the guarantor of the health of our citizens and also the democratic life of our country,” Macron said, defending his decision to hold local elections. “We will overcome this crisis by being responsible together and for each other,” he said, after casting his vote in northern France.

Macron said the decision to close shops and restaurants needed to be made because too many people were being too lax in how they protected themselves from the virus.

Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Kirsten Donovan