UPDATED, 23:00 March 10: The neighbouring Alpes-Maritimes will again have a weekend confinement, from Friday, March 12, until Monday, March 15, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal announced at lunchtime on Wednesday following a meeting of the Council of Ministers.

The built-up zone of the Department, centred on Nice and including Antibes and Menton, has already experienced two consecutive weekend lockdowns.

“It has been decided, and it is a difficult decision, to extend the confinement for this weekend,” said Gabriel Attal. He added that a study will be conducted during next week to determine whether reduced rates of infection in the department will allow a lifting of the measure on subsequent weekends.

Following a shortage of vaccine doses over several weeks, which health facilities had to ration, the Department is due to receive close to 100,000 doses by the end of March.

Mayor of Nice Chrstian Estrosi responded to the announcement by saying that he had not recommended the new lockdown. He also called for the one-hour limit for outdoor exercise be increased to three.

FILE PHOTO: Gabriel Attal Reuters