Paris to shut bars and raise alert to maximum

Paris to shut bars and raise alert to maximum
Bars in Paris, France must close from Tuesday for two weeks under new coronavirus restrictions. Source: EPA
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Dialy US Times: Paris will shut all bars completely from Tuesday as the government of France raises the city’s coronavirus alert to maximum following a sustained period of high infection rates.

The office of Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that full detail of the new restrictions will be announced on Monday and will last for two weeks.

France reported 12,565 cases of Covid-19 on Sunday.

It comes after the city of Marseille closed restaurants and bars last week.

The maximum alert level in the country comes into force when the infection rate in a locality exceeds 250 per 100,000 people and at least 30% of intensive care beds are reserved for Covid-19 patients.

The prime minister’s office explained: “These measures, indispensable in the fight to curb the virus’ spread, will apply to Paris and the three departments immediately surrounding it, for a duration of two weeks.”

Restaurants in Paris will have to put in place new sanitary arrangements in order to stay open and university lecture halls must be no more than half-full.

But bistros and restaurants that serve food as well as alcohol can stay open, as long as they register contact details from customers and shut their doors at 22:00.

The statement said working from home must be prioritised “now more than ever”.

Gerald Darmanin, the French Interior Minister, acknowledged that closing bars would be difficult for Parisians. He told French TV channel LCI and Europe 1 on Sunday. “We are French, we love to drink, to eat, to live, to smile and to kiss each other.”

On 26 September Marseille, France’s second city, closed all restaurants, bars and gyms for two weeks. Public venues including theatres, museums and cinemas have also had to close unless they could introduce strict anti-viral measures.

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