A 430-mile traffic jam jammed Paris on Thursday night just hours before the city was put in new lockdown amid a new wave of COVID-19 cases.
The second nationwide shutdown went into effect at midnight, allowing 65 million people to leave their homes just to shop for food, medical appointments and work until December 1.
Only essential schools and businesses will remain open as the country faces another surge in coronavirus infections – the highest level since April.
BBC News reported, citing French media sources, that the latest lock seems to make Parisians flee the city to the countryside.
But Thursday also marks one of the last days people can return home after half a semester of the country̵7;s school, which ends after All Saints Day on November 1.
“At the moment, it cannot be said for sure whether the traffic jam is caused by a good stop [people returning from] a spokesman for the Paris regional traffic management agency told CNN.
Traffic jams stretched as long as 430 miles in the Ile-de-France region with social media videos showing the car barely moving and their drivers honking their horn in frustration.
France recorded 47,637 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday and 250 new deaths, according to the BBC.