Paris (AFP)

The closure of schools announced across the country from Monday will be "as short as possible" but "minimum 15 days", said the Minister of Health on Europe 1 Friday.

"The duration is unknown to me and, if I could give it, I would give it (...) imagine that it will be as short as possible", said Olivier Véran, stressing that it was a "heartbreak of duty get there ".

"In the virus activation zones (Oise, Haut-Rhin), we have adopted 15-day closing periods. As part of a national closure of all schools, what we want is is a massive national brake, "he said.

Schools will therefore close "the time necessary for this massive brake to be fully operational and to protect our hospitals. At least 15 days".

"It is not with gaiety of heart that schools are closed," said the minister again, insisting that the decision had been taken after a meeting with experts at the Elysée on Thursday.

Emmanuel Macron announced Thursday during a television statement the closure of nurseries, schools, colleges, high schools and universities "from Monday and until further notice", to "protect" children and "reduce the spread" of the coronavirus which affected so far more than 2,800 people in France where 61 patients have died.

© 2020 AFP