Should the fresh round of lockdowns in France happen, it would be the French authorities’ bid to contain the surge and alleviate some burdens of the country’s healthcare system.
"If over the next two weeks we see the epidemic indicators worsen, if intensive care beds fill up even more than we expect, we will indeed take additional measures," Castex said in an interview with France Info radio.
Asked about the chances of new stay-at-home orders and business closures specifically, Prime Minister Jean Castex said "nothing can be ruled out, given what we're seeing in our hospitals."
Castex reiterated that "it should be possible" to avoid a nationwide lockdown like the two-month one at the height of the Covid-19 outbreak in the spring.
But he said too many people were failing to appreciate that "the second wave is here," noting that two more cities, Toulouse and Montpellier, were placed on maximum alert late Sunday because of a surge in new cases — bringing the total to nine.
In particular, he pointed to Paris and its suburbs, where agents carried out some 500 checks over the weekend to ensure bars were closed as ordered and restaurants were ensuring social distancing measures.
"In 95 cases, the agents had to hand out fines," Castex said.