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People Fleeing Paris Before a Nationwide Lockdown Took Effect Brought Chaos to Freeways

Αssociated Press

A French soldier patrols next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

PARIS — People fleeing Paris before a nationwide lockdown took effect brought chaos to freeways around the French capital.

The four-week lockdown that went into force at midnight requires residents to stay home except for one hour of daily exercise or to attend medical appointments or to shop for essentials.

French media reported that logjams around the Paris region stretched for miles as many residents headed for country or family homes in search of more space than the typically cramped Paris housing. Many motorists also were leaving to celebrate this weekend's All Saints’ Day holiday.

French President Emmanuel Macron said authorities would be “tolerant” about families returning from the holidays on Monday, but that inter-regional travel is otherwise strictly prohibited.