France announces new Covid measures as people banned from standing up in bars

27 December 2021, 23:10 | Updated: 27 December 2021, 23:21

People will be requested to sit down during concerts and customers will not be allowed to stand up in bars, French prime minister Jean Castex said.
People will be requested to sit down during concerts and customers will not be allowed to stand up in bars, French prime minister Jean Castex said. Picture: Getty

By James Morris

People in France will be banned from standing up in bars under new Covid restrictions.

The French government has announced fresh measures, starting from next week, to curb the Omicron variant.

"We are in a race against the clock," prime minister Jean Castex said.

People will be requested to sit down during concerts and customers will not be allowed to stand up in bars, Mr Castex said. Eating and drinking will also be banned in cinemas, theatres, sport facilities and on public transport.

Meanwhile, indoor events will be limited to 2,000 people, with 5,000 outdoors. Working from home, where possible, will also be mandatory three days a week.

The restrictions, which will be in place for at least three weeks, were announced after France recorded 100,000 Covid infections in a single day for the first time in the pandemic.

However, the new measures remain less strict than those put into place at the start of 2021, when a nightly curfew was imposed across the country.

Like the UK government, France stopped short of imposing new restrictions before the new year. Prime minister Mr Castex, similar to UK health secretary Sajid Javid today, instead issued recommendations such as taking Covid tests and avoiding big parties.