France's President Emmanuel Macron suspends rent, utilities, and taxes in wake of the pandemic

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France's President Emmanuel Macron suspends rent, utilities, and taxes in wake of the pandemic

Macron: ‘we are at war with the coronavirus.’

After putting the country on lockdown, which outlines regulations unheard of in modern history, France's President Emmanuel Macron has declared that all rent, utilities, and housing taxes will be suspended.

This move is a relief for a country under strict quarantine. People have to go online and fill out a form declaring what they're doing if they want to go outside. If they're caught without it, they risk a €38 fine. As it stands, people would have to stay at home unless shopping for food or going to a pharmacy, heading for absolutely essential work, or exercising alone.

In a live television address to the nation, he also pledged that no French company would be exposed to the risk of collapse as he announced billions in euros in loans to help keep businesses afloat.

The measures will last two weeks. He told the nation: "Walking, meeting friends in the park or in the street will no longer be possible.

"It is a question of limiting as much as possible all contact beyond the home. All over French territory, in mainland France as well as overseas, only necessary journeys must remain necessary."

"All businesses must organise to facilitate remote work. And when that is not possible, they will have to adapt their organization to enforce these new measures." Note that this applies to small businesses severely affected by the shutdown, not freelancers or businesses with no emply

The country has recorded around 5,400 infections, with 400 still in intensive care in its in overburdened hospitals. The death toll has hit 127 in France.

Mr Macron said: "We are at war and the Nation will support its children who, there, medical staff in town, at the hospital, are on the front line in a fight that will ask them for determination, solidarity.

"They have rights over us. We obviously owe them the means, the protection. We will be there. We owe them masks, gel, all the necessary equipment, and we will make sure of it.

"We also owe caregivers custody of their children. A minimum daycare service has been in place since that day in nurseries and schools. We also owe them serenity, movement and rest.

"This is why I decided that from taxis and hotels can be mobilised for their benefit. The state will pay.

"I therefore decided that a field hospital of the army service would be deployed in the days to come in Alsace (the eastern region close to Germany). The army will also help to move the sick from the most affected regions and thus reduce congestion in hospitals."

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