Paris on maximum virus alert, closing of bars, not restaurants

PARIS (AP) – French authorities put the Paris area on maximum virus alert on Monday, banning festive celebrations and requiring all bars to close but allow restaurants to remain open, as the number of infections rose sharply .

The Paris Police Prefect Didier Laliment announced that the new sanctions would remain in force for at least the next two weeks.

“We are constantly adapting to the reality of the virus. We are taking measures to slow down (its spread), ”he said.

French authorities consider bars to be major transition hot spots because patrons do not respect social distancing rules in restaurants as much as they do.

Starting in Tuesday, bars in Paris and its suburbs will be closed. Student parties and all other festive and family events will be banned in establishments open to the public.

The restaurant will remain open under strict conditions. These include a minimum distance of one meter (three feet) between each table, a group limited to six people, instead of 10, and a request to enter the names and phone numbers of customers who can help contact them Who were in contact with someone. Coronavirus.

Indoor sports facilities including swimming pools will be open only to children under 18 years of age. The gyms are already closed.

Movies, theaters and museums will be open with strict sanitary rules, but fairs and professional events will not be allowed.

Officials maintain a limit of 1,000 spectators per day at major sporting events, allowing the Roland-Garros tennis tournament to continue as planned this week.

Director of the Regional Health Authority, Aurelian Russo, said that on average, 3,500 new cases of infection are confirmed each day in the Paris area, and 36% of ICU beds in the area are occupied by COVID-19 patients.

The alert has already been raised to maximum levels for 12 days in the southern city of Marseille and nearby Aix-en-Provence, as well as the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean.

Authorities ordered the closure of all public places including bars and restaurants in these areas, leading to several demonstrations from angry business owners in Marseille.

On Monday, local authorities announced the restaurant in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence would reopen on the condition that they respect similar restrictions in Paris.

French health officials reported 16,972 new cases of infection on Saturday, the highest daily number in the country since widespread testing began.

The country, one of the most difficult in Europe, has reported 32,230 virus-related deaths since the onset of the epidemic.


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