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France v Ireland Six Nations rugby game postponed due to coronavirus outbreak

The France v Ireland rugby game that had been due to take place in Paris on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus situation in France.

France v Ireland Six Nations rugby game postponed due to coronavirus outbreak
France's final game of the Six Nations tournament has been postponed. Photo: AFP

The match – France's final game of the tournament, which had been scheduled for March 14th at the Stade de France in Paris – will now be played in October.

“Following instructions received from the authorities in France, the decision has been made to postpone the Round 5 Guinness Six Nations match between France and Ireland,” organiser Six Nations Rugby said in a statement.

The decision comes as France brings in a ban on all gatherings of more than 1,000 people as the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in France passes the 1,000 mark.

French health minister Olivier Véran announced on Sunday night that all gatherings of more than 1,000 people would be banned, stepping up previous restrictions on gatherings of more than 5,000 people in enclosed spaces.

Organisers of the Paris marathon had already announced that will also be postponed until October.

The ban has some exemptions for competitions, public transport and demonstrations, but on Monday Six Nations organisers confirmed that the France v Ireland game has been postponed.

Two games in Italy had already been postponed.

It is thought that all postponed games will now take place in the autumn.

READ ALSO Should I cancel my trip to Paris because of coronavirus?

The cases in France are largely concentrated in four 'cluster' zones in the east of the country and despite the ban on gatherings most aspects of life in France are continuing as normal.

You can find the latest updates on the situation in France here.

 

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HEALTH

France declares epidemic as flu cases soar

The French health authority has declared a flu epidemic, while the country also faces a new wave of Covid cases and bronchitis is affecting young children.

France declares epidemic as flu cases soar

Santé publique France made the declaration of an epidemic on Wednesday, adding that three deaths have been recorded due to flu, while 20 patients are in intensive care.

With Covid-19 and bronchitis cases also currently high, health experts have urged people to get vaccinated – especially those over 65. “It is important for people at risk to be vaccinated against flu without delay,” insisted Santé publique France.

READ ALSO Flu vaccine opens to all adults in France: What you need to know

Cases have hit full epidemic levels in Brittany and Normandy, while the virus is in pre-epidemic phase in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Grand Est, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Centre-Val de Loire, Hauts-de-France and Île-de-France, with an increasing number of people heading to hospitals’ emergency departments with influenza-like illness. It is expected to cross over to epidemic levels in the coming days and weeks.

READ ALSO French PM calls on commuters to wear masks as Covid cases rise

It has already hit French overseas territories including Martinique, Mayotte and Reunion.

Flu has hit epidemic levels much earlier than last season, when it did not peak until early Spring. 

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