Following the shutdown of schools and universities announced by France’s President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, the French prime minister has now banned gatherings for more than 100 people to contain the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.
The new ban, announced by the prime minister Edouard Philippe on Friday, has not been dated. A spokesperson of the minister of health told Variety that it will probably be dated at some point today.
The previous decree, announced on March 10, restricted gatherings to 1,000 people and was timed to expire on April 15. A specific decision about French theaters and other cultural venues has not yet been taken. As for the Cannes Film Festival, organizers have been working on a contingency plan in case the 1,000 people limitation was still in place by the start of the festival on May 12. The new restriction might be a fatal blow to the festival unless it is timed to expire by the end of April.
In a televised interview on Thursday, Macron called coronavirus the “biggest health crisis that France has known in a century.” He called for the shutdown of schools, universities and colleges across the country starting on March 16 for an undetermined amount of time.
While Macron did not use the word “quarantine” in his speech, he also asked that individuals limit traveling to and from work as much as possible. Those over 70 were also advised to stay home.
Several high-profile events have already been canceled in France, including the international TV showcase MipTV, and Series Mania, the TV drama festival in Lille, both of which were due to take place at the end of the month.