Coronavirus: Paris shuts bars and raises Covid-19 alert to maximum level

Zoe Tidman
·2-min read
Bars will be forced to shut in the French capital around a week after a new curfew was introduced (AFP via Getty Images)
Bars will be forced to shut in the French capital around a week after a new curfew was introduced (AFP via Getty Images)

Bars in Paris will be forced to shut under tightened coronavirus measures, after the French prime minister said the capital will be moved to the highest Covid-19 alert level.

It comes around a week after a new 10pm curfew for bars and bistros was introduced in the city.

Paris will now face a host of other restrictions following a rise in coronavirus cases, including new health protocols for restaurants must follow to stay open, the French PM’s office said.

The new measures, which will shut bars for a fortnight, are set to come into force from Tuesday.

Jean Castex’s office said there had been no improvement in the Paris region since the capital passed all three of the government’s criteria for the maximum Covid-19 alert level last week.

For this to happen, the incidence rate must top 100 infections per 100,000 among elderly residents and 250 per 100,000 among the general public, while at least 30 per cent of intensive care beds are reserved for coronavirus patients.

Under the maximum alert level, 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, Mr Castex's office said on Sunday.

"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.

Towards the end of last month, bars and restaurants were ordered to temporarily close again in Marseille and the French Caribbean island Guadeloupe after the areas were placed on maximum alert level.

In Marseille, anger over the new measures bubbled into protests and an unsuccessful legal challenge.

France saw a record daily rise in the number of new coronavirus cases over the weekend, after nearly 17,000 more infections were reported on Saturday.

More than 12,500 new cases were added to the total number of cases – which currently stands at around 619,100 – on Sunday.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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