France mobilises 100,000 police to stop New Year’s Eve parties

France mobilises 100,000 police to stop New Year's Eve gatherings
Source: Reuters
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: France is to mobilise 100,000 police and gendarmes on New Year’s Eve to enforce a curfew and break up parties to combat coronavirus.

The extra security deployment also aims at halting the torching of cars that often takes place on the final night of the year.

France has confirmed 2.6m coronavirus cases, the fifth highest total in the world, and more than 64,000 deaths.

Like other European countries, France will see muted celebrations for New Year’s Eve amid the Covid pandemic.

Gérald Darmanin, the Interior Minister of the country, has ordered a visible security presence in city centres and flashpoint suburbs from 20:00, when the curfew begins.

Half of the metro lines will be closed in the evening in Paris, while Mr Darmanin also asked for a wider public transport shutdown across the nation to be considered.

Despite rising Covid infections and concerns over a new more contagious variant of the disease, a government spokesman said there was no need for local lockdowns for now. France has had two national lockdowns and restaurants, bars and cultural attractions will remain closed into January.

Mr Darmanin has written to regional leaders and authorities informing them of Thursday’s “exceptional” mobilisation of 100,000 police and gendarmes.

He said, this would amount to an “affirmation of state authority in every part of the national territory”.

Officers will be instructed to break up underground New Year’s Eve parties as soon as they are reported, fine participants and identify the organisers.

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