COVID-19, curfew decreed in Paris
Emmanuel Macron, French president, announced a curfew in Paris and eight other metropolitan areas in a state of maximum alert due to the pandemic, given the worsening of the hospital situation in large areas of the country.
The curfew will be from nine at night until six in the morning and will begin next Saturday, with an initial duration of four weeks extendable to six, the president detailed in a television interview.
"We have to take stricter measures because we are in a worrying situation," Macron said. The objective of the measure is to stop the growth of infections so that the current rate goes from approximately 20,000 a day to the level of 3,000-5,000, he added.
Macron assured that a general reconfinement of the population, such as the one experienced last spring, would be disproportionate, so the curfew is a pertinent measure.
"You will not be able to go to the restaurant after 9:00 p.m., you will not be able to go to parties at friends' houses," explained the president, who advanced that there will be police controls and fines for offenders, as well as a system of authorizations for those who have to leave for work or unavoidable reasons.
The situation is especially serious in the Paris region (Ile de France), where the rate of positive cases is 320.9 per 100,000 inhabitants and COVID-19 patients already occupy 45 percent of all care beds intensive care in hospitals, according to data reported by regional health authorities.
Macron stressed that surgical operations have been postponed in hospitals to ensure that there were intensive care beds for coronavirus patients, but "we no longer have reserve beds. That is why we must take stricter measures."
In addition to the Paris region, the other metropolitan areas with a curfew will be Marseille-Aix en Provence, Lyon, Lille, Grenoble, Montpellier, Toulouse, Rouen and Saint Etienne.
The pandemic has already caused 33,000 deaths in France, according to the latest available official figures.