Paris bans nighttime takeaway food and delivery as Covid cases climb

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Restaurants and bars in the French capital offering delivery and takeout services must close at 10pm as of Friday 6 November in a further attempt to curb the spiralling coronavirus pandemic.

"I wouldn't call it a curfew, as it does not concern all places in the city," Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told BFM TV on Thursday morning.

She said the new restrictions were necessary, however, to stop people from gathering outside food outlets and bars as concerns grow over people not respecting the new lockdown measures introduced on 30 October.

"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.

Details of the tighter measures were laid out in a decree published on Thursday by the Paris police.

As from Friday, all establishments in Paris selling takeaway and alcoholic drinks will close between 10pm and 6am.

The sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks in public spaces during those hours will also be banned.

Parisians will not be able to order takeaway food from delivery outlets such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo after 10pm.

Brutal virus

The new restrictions come as France struggles to bring its coronavirus epidemic under control despite the existing national lockdown which forced non-essential shops - such as those not selling basic foods or medicines - to close, and required people to carry signed certificates to justify being out on the streets.

So far the measures have failed to slow down the spread of the virus.

France reported another 58,000 new infections on Thursday, the highest daily caseload since the pandemic began in the spring.

France’s health director-general Jerome Salomon warned on Thursday that the country’s second Covid wave was “brutal and spreading quickly”.

Around 4,000 Covid-19 patients are in intensive care, leaving 1,800 vacant places. Doctors have warned France is nearing saturation point.

On Thursday, official statistics showed 50,046 new Covid-19 cases over the previous 24 hours, and a further 367 deaths, taking the country's total death toll to 39,037.

The total number of confirmed cases stands at just over 1.6 million, the highest in Europe.

(with newswires)