With an explosion in recent days of both new cases and deaths – more than 500 on Tuesday alone – the French president is expected to announce a four-week lockdown in the hope of halting the upward curve.

Emmanuel Macron has been swayed toward a more dramatic response than originally envisaged as the coronavirus caseload has risen to “brutal” new heights, according to many observers.

The possibility of extending the current overnight curfew that affects two-thirds of France to start at 19:00, and take effect all weekend, appears to have been abandoned.

Either way, the French public is not happy, with more of its population opposed to the government response to Covid than in any other European country.

This time round, schools and many businesses will remain open in order, as much as possible, to save the battered economy.

FILE PHOTO: Emmanuel Macron. Reuters