France on Friday declared Paris and the Marseille region in the southeastern part of the country to be high-risk zones, granting local authorities powers to restrict the movements of people and vehicles, limit access to public transportation and public buildings and close down restaurants and bars.
France’s seven-day average is now above 2,000 cases, according to a New York Times database, a level the country reached in late March during a sharp rise in its outbreak that peaked in early April with a seven-day average of more than 4,400 cases.
On Thursday, Britain added France to its list of countries that visitors arriving from must quarantine for two weeks. The Netherlands, where cases have been doubling every two weeks since early July, was also added, as were Aruba, Malta, Monaco and Turks and Caicos. Britain had already imposed restrictions on Spain and Belgium, among other countries.
Britain unveiled the expanded list with little more than a day’s notice, prompting an instant scramble from vacationers to get back to Britain before the quarantine is imposed at 4 a.m. on Saturday.
France’s rising caseload reflects not only an increase in the number of tests, which now stand at more than 600,000 per week, but also a higher infection rate, especially among young people, the health authorities said. The country’s total caseload has risen to 209,365, with 30,388 deaths, according to the Times database.
The Netherlands has 62,406 confirmed cases and 6,187 deaths, according to the database, but a leading Dutch health expert has said that if the current trajectory is sustained, the case count could grow to 250,000 infections by the fall. Over 60 percent of all new infections are in people under 40.