With the surge in cases of COVID-19 in the French capital, it is set to go into a month-long lockdown. The country doubts a third wave of Covid-19.

Starting midnight today, around 21 million people in 16 areas of France will need to abide the measures.

Speaking about the lockdown strictness, Prime Minister Jean Castex said that the measures will not be as stern as the previous lockdown and that the people will be allowed to exercise outdoors.

As per the guidelines, new measures state that non-essential businesses will be required to close, but schools will remain open. Also, if “particular sanitary protocol” followed properly, the hairdressers can stay open. Government spokesman Gabriel Attal emphasized that there would be differences with the two earlier lockdowns and said that further details would be shared of which business could stay open or would have to shut.

The new measures permit people to exercise outdoors within 10km (6 miles) of their home. They won’t be allowed to travel to other parts of the country without a valid reason. Those in the affected areas will need to fill out a form to clarify why they have left their homes.

Other than greater Paris region, the northern Hauts-de-France, Seine-Maritime and Eure areas and the Alpes-Maritimes on the French Riviera will stay under lockdown.

The nationwide curfew in France will remain in place. But, it will begin an hour later at 19:00 (18:00 GMT), considering the longer hours of daylight.

France has had more than 35,000 fresh infections within the past 24 hours. Mr Castex remarked a “third wave” of infections in the nation was looking highly likely.

As per the Health Minister Olivier Véran, the reason the situation in Paris is especially perturbing that it has 1,200 people in intensive care there, which is more than at the peak of the second wave in November.

The acceleration of the COVID-19 epidemic arrives at a difficult time for France. France had deferred the use of vaccine AstraZeneca following a number of people in Europe stated blood clot developing after the vaccine was administered. However EMA’s announcement that the jab was fit for use, the same will be used for vaccinating from Friday. Mr Castex mentioned that he would be getting the vaccine straight away to show that it was OK.

One of the biggest causes of concern for Paris right now is over stretched hospitals. Authorities are concerned about the situation of hospitals in the Paris region. “Intensive care units in Paris are overflowing,” mentioned Gilbert Deray, head of the kidney unit at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris. “The stress is extreme. Every day, we have 100 new patients admitted into intensive care, every day we are looking for beds, wondering where we are going to put patients.” “We are on the cusp of a breakdown, and we are terrified that we might have to start choosing between patients,” he further added.

 Health Minister Olivier Véran last week declared that hospitals in the Ile-de-France would start transferring “dozens, even hundreds” of patients to other regions to free up beds. But so far only 10 patients have been transferred which speaks of the gravity of the situation.