World News

France doing everything possible to avoid repeat COVID-19 lockdown, says Macron

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday his government was doing everything possible to avoid another nationwide coronavirus lockdown but added it would be dangerous to rule out any scenario.

“We’re doing everything to avoid another lockdown and in particular a nationwide lockdown,” Macron told journalists. “We’ve learned enough to know that nothing can be ruled out. But we’re doing everything to prevent it.”

The number of coronavirus infections has spiralled higher in France in recent weeks, particularly among young people, although the number of patients receiving life-saving treatment in hospitals is stable.

Asked how the government should spur households to spend the 100 billion euros in savings they are sitting on, Macron said consumers were holding back because of the continued spread of the virus, fear of unemployment and concerns about tax rises.

“What we must do is get people back to work,” the president said.

Reporting by Michel Rose and Elizabeth Pineau; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Frances Kerry