There was record traffic around Paris right before the second lockdown was announced in France. Jams were stretching around 700 km from the Ile-de-France region on the evening of October 29. The lockdown measures were announced on October 30, at midnight, to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
There are orders for people to stay at home and not step up for anything other than essentials. Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, said that the second wave could be worse than the first and harder to fight.
In the last week, France recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases. The maximum reported in one day was 47,637 fresh cases, with 250 deaths. Currently, the total number of cases stands as 1,502,763, and the total death toll is 38,289.
According to French media, several Parisians have left the city as their apartments are usually cramped. They will spend their lockdown in the countryside where there are fewer chances of transmission.
A 24-year-old named Anna reported that she left her apartment in Paris with her family to live in their second home in Bernay, northern France. She said it was “psychologically hard” to withstand the first lockdown. But Bernay has cleaner air, and the family will feel free there.
Why was there record traffic in Paris?
Some travelers were coming back to Paris from the countryside or after holidaying elsewhere. The French school holiday just got over, and the weekend also marked All Saints’ Day. These were some of the reasons why the traffic was unusual. Moreover, long tailbacks were reported around cities like Bordeaux and Lyon right before lockdown.
Traffic jams in Paris were similar to how things were during March, right before France levied a strict lockdown. During that time, some people living in the French regions were hostile towards Parisians who left the capital.
One commentator from a local news channel said that people are being requested to stay at home. Moreover, Parisians are being asked to stay in Paris. It is evident that if thousands of people leave the city, 1/3rd might be infected without knowing and spread the diseases more rapidly.
During the first wave of coronavirus, some places in France like Paris and northeastern areas were severely hit due to lockdown. However, other places had few cases compared to them. However, this time the virus is reaching every part of the country.
President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission said that Brussels set aside 200 million euros to transfer coronavirus patients from states with high infection to nations where they are more hospital beds. She called for the European Union countries to pool their data for COVID-19 and asked them not to close borders. However, she also said that they don’t encourage traveling right now. People in Europe should take trips safely, and only if essential, she said. Finally, she also said that there should be work preparing infrastructure for a mass-vaccinations. This is for the time when the vaccines are finally approved.