France expands COVID-19 blocking measures in Caribbean territories

France has decided to extend the Covid-19 blocking measures in its overseas Caribbean territories, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday, adding that the return to schools in these areas and in French Guiana would be delayed until the 13th. of September.

The French government decided to tighten restrictions in Martinique and Guadeloupe earlier this month when spikes in infections overwhelmed hospitals and President Emmanuel Macron warned of a “dramatic situation” in the Caribbean islands, which have been hit hard. for the Delta variant.

The measures included the closure of beaches and stores that sell non-essential items, as well as restrictions on the movement of people. Local authorities also advised tourists to leave the islands.

The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, has asked volunteer doctors and nurses to travel to the territories to reinforce the local health personnel.

Covid-19 infections have also skyrocketed in the Pacific islands of French Polynesia, where local authorities announced a tightening of restrictions on Saturday, including a curfew at 8 p.m. and the closure of schools, restaurants and bars for two weeks.

While more than half of the people in mainland France have already received two doses of vaccination, rates in their overseas territories, from the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, have lagged far behind.

According to the independent website COVIDTracker, just under a quarter of the populations of Guadeloupe and Martinique have received a first dose of a vaccine.

( Jowharwith REUTERS)

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