Paris to shut bars as city placed on maximum COVID-19 alert

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New Delhi (NVI): Paris will shut all bars for two weeks as the French government has placed the city on maximum coronavirus alert in its continuing bid to curb COVID-19, according to the reports.

The restaurants and bistros in Paris, however, will be allowed to stay open if they put new sanitary measures in place. These measures will go into effect from October 6 and to last for 15 days.

France Prime Minister Jean Castex’s office in a statement said, there had been no improvement in the Paris region since the French capital passed all three of the government’s criteria for being put on the highest level of alert mid last week.

A statement from Castex’s office also said working from home should be prioritised now more than ever in the Paris area and university lecture halls should be no more than half full.

Moreover, the city’s maximum alert level comes into force when the infection rate in a locality exceeds 250 per 1,00,000 people and at least 30 per cent of intensive care beds are reserved for COVID-19 patients.

“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,” the statement said.

Earlier, Marseille, France’s second city, closed all bars, restaurants 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, as per the reports.

In addition to this, restaurants in Marseille will be allowed to reopen early under the same new protocols.

France has been struggling to contain a rising rate of infection which started to grow exponentially in late August.

The country reported 12,565 new cases of coronavirus in past 24 hours, taking the total caseload to 6,29,509, while 32,171 people died due to pandemic in France.

-RJV