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France will pay parents to stay home if infections close schools

More schools are being closed in infection clusters.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Health workers don protective gear in a hospital in Marseille, southern France, on Sept 10. Photo: AP
Health workers don protective gear in a hospital in Marseille, southern France, on Sept 10. Photo: AP

French schools are being forced to close again on the heels of record daily Covid-19 infections.

Virus clusters have emerged across the country since schools were reopened on Sept 1.

The clusters have already led to the closure of more than 30 schools and could well lead to many more.

That will mean thousands of parents having to stay at home instead of going to work.

Now the French government has developed a scheme which means this situation need not turn into a family financial nightmare.

Paris has revealed it will pay 84% of the wages of one parent in each household with a child under the age of 16 if their school is forced to close down due to Covid-19 infections.

Payments will be backdated to Sept 1, the date pupils returned to the classroom, and the government will also extend its furlough scheme for struggling businesses, The Times reported.

Covid-19 is still rampaging across France, gathering strength from its second wind.

The Times reports that any further lockdown measures in France would be implemented on a local basis, rather than nationwide.

President Emmanuel Macron has voiced his hopes that any new measures which might be required to keep infections down would not be too restrictive.

He said, “We need to be able to continue to educate our children and care for other patients and illnesses and to have a social and economic life.”

After reaching a low in August, the number of people hospitalised is again trending upward.

The rise in infections has mainly affected young people who, while they are less likely to develop complications from the virus, can pass it on to their fellows in situations where social distancing is more of a problem, such as schools.