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5 Oct, 2020 12:17

Paris to shutter bars for 2 weeks as French capital placed on Covid-19 high alert

Paris to shutter bars for 2 weeks as French capital placed on Covid-19 high alert

Bars in Paris will be ordered to close after the French capital reached all the criteria for being placed on the highest level of emergency amid a second wave of coronavirus.

The order will come into effect from Tuesday and last for fifteen days. Other restrictions, including occupancy limits in university dormitories, will also be implemented. Parisians have been encouraged to work from home if possible. 

In a statement, Prime Minister Jean Castex’s office said that the restrictions were “indispensable in the fight to curb the virus’ spread.”

The French capital has reported figures which, under government guidelines, call for a high alert status in the city. Under the policy, the maximum alert status is triggered when infections among the general public exceed 250 per 100,000 people. Among those aged 65 or older, the infection rate cannot exceed 100 per 100,000 residents. A third criterion is that the area has been forced to reserve 30 percent of its intensive care beds for Covid-19 patients. 

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France’s interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, acknowledged that the closure of bars would be “tough” for the public.

“We are French; we love to drink, to eat, to live, to smile and to kiss each other,” he told local media. He insisted, however, that people “wanted” the government to act. 

On Sunday France reported 12,148 new coronavirus cases, as the country scrambles to contain a second wave of the illness. Since the start of the health crisis, France has recorded 589,653 cases resulting in 32,155 deaths, according to official figures. 

Countries around the world have been struggling to put a lid on a surge of new coronavirus cases, although many nations have been reluctant to close businesses. The UK recently imposed a 10pm curfew on bars and restaurants but has so far avoided a complete shutdown of eateries. 

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