Government blunder creates confusion over new Paris curfew

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French government sources have denied that a decision has been made to impose a curfew on Paris in what appeared to be a breakdown of communication between the government and its own spokesperson.

The introduction of a new curfew in Paris and its surrounding suburbs was announced on BFMTV Tuesday morning by spokesman Gabriel Attal, who said the measure would be brought in to reinforce the existing lockdown.

Attal added that details of the curfew, “which would probably start at 9pm”, would be provided during the day by the Ministry of the Interior.

"We are putting in place measures that are difficult for everyone,” he said.

However, a short time later government sources told BFM that such a decision had “absolutely not been made”, although it had been mooted as a possibility by the Prefect of Police.

“It consists of setting a night closing time for shops authorised to operate,” the source said. "This measure is going to be discussed with the Paris municipality by the Prefecture but is not decided at this stage.”

The source added that a decision would be taken "in the next few days".

Non-essential businesses in France – including restaurants, bars and shops – have been closed until at least 1 December as France tackles a difficult second wave of coronavirus infections.

Schools remain open, however, with people permitted to leave their homes for work, medical appointments, grocery shopping and exercise.

On Monday France logged a record 52,518 new Covid-19 infections and 418 deaths.