Paris to shut bars for two weeks as Covid-19 cases spike

5 October 2020, 08:34

The full detail of new restrictions will be announced Monday and will last for two weeks
The full detail of new restrictions will be announced Monday and will last for two weeks. Picture: PA

By Matt Drake

Paris will shut all bars from Tuesday as the French government raises its Covid-19 alert level to maximum following a period of high infection rates, the prime minister's office said.

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

He said the Paris region had not improved since the capital passed all three of the government's criteria for being put on the highest level of alert last week.

In an official statement, Mr Castex's office said working from home should be prioritised "now more than ever" and university lecture halls should be no more than half full.

The statement added: "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 will also have to put in place new protocols to stay open.

Restaurants will also have to put new sanitary protocols in place to stay open
Restaurants will also have to put new sanitary protocols in place to stay open. Picture: PA

In order for a city to be placed on maximum alert in France, the incidence rate must exceed 100 infections per 100,000 among elderly inhabitants and 250 per 100,000 among the general public.

It comes after restaurants and bars were shut down for a fortnight in Marseille, in the south of France, prompting protests and an unsuccessful legal challenge.

But the city will be allowed to reopen earlier under the same new protocols.

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

France's virus case-rate increased the most in Europe over the past two months and monthly virus-related deaths tripled in September.

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The country also reported a record number of laboratory-confirmed cases on Saturday.

Fears of a second wave across Europe due to an increase of positive infections has led other countries to introduce stricter measures.

Ireland's health officials are reportedly about to recommend a return to full lockdown while leaked documents show plans for a stricter traffic-light system in England.

However, President Emmanuel Macron’s government has said it does not want a second nationwide lockdown due to the societal and economic impact.

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