Paris bans takeaway food and delivery at night as Covid-19 crisis worsens

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Paris will ban delivery and takeaway services for prepared food and alcohol between 10pm and 6am from Friday to curb the worsening Covid-19 pandemic, the police prefecture has announced.

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In a statement on Thursday, police officials said the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks in public spaces during those hours would also be banned.

Earlier in the day, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the new restrictions were necessary to prevent people from gathering outside food outlets in the French capital.

The new curbs will come on top of the existing national lockdown that has been imposed throughout France.

President Emmanuel Macron imposed a new lockdown last month, forcing non-essential shops - such as those not selling basic foods or medicines - to close, and making people use signed documents to justify being out on the streets.

Nevertheless, French authorities believed more measures were needed in Paris as they felt there were still too many people out in the capital late at night, in spite of the lockdown.

New Covid-19 lockdowns and curbs have stirred resistance across Europe even as countries including France and Spain deal with record daily infections and hospitals under pressure.

A French government source told Reuters this week that they had noted in Paris "clandestine parties, raves, private dinners", and felt stricter measures were needed.

"When you get people who are not playing by the rules of the game, and are therefore putting at risk the health of a large number of people, that is when you need to put in place new restrictions," Hidalgo said.

On Wednesday, France reported 40,558 new Covid-19 cases and a further 385 deaths, taking the country's total death toll to 38,674 while the total number of confirmed cases stands at around 1.5 million.