After new year parties and violence, France imposes night curfew to contain COVID-19 cases

WION Web Team
Paris, FranceUpdated: Jan 02, 2021, 12:41 PM IST

WION Web Team

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'Obviously if the situation were to deteriorate further in some regions, we would take the necessary decisions', Gabriel Attal, a government spokesperson told local media

After a massive rave party in northwestern France, the Macron government has decided to impose night curfew in 15 northeastern and southeastern areas which will be starting from 6 pm, instead of 8 pm every night.

"We are taking a decision for 15 departments. In a week's time, we will assess the impact of this earlier curfew on these 15 departments, on the circulation of the virus elsewhere in the country," Gabriel Attal, a government spokesperson told local media.

He has also urged people to avoid wandering out during the day, warning that if the situation gets worse, a complete lockdown can also be placed. "Obviously if the situation were to deteriorate further in some regions, we would take the necessary decisions. The measures are incremental and can of course - in principle - go as far a lockdown," he said.

In addition to this, the government has also decided to continue the ban on theatres, cinemas, concert and other entertainment venues. Restaurants and bars will also stay temporarily closed until further notice.

The decision has come after France identified cases of the new variant of coronavirus, which was first reported in the UK a few weeks ago. 

This has also come as a direct result of several New Year parties which took place in the country, flouting all coronavirus guidelines and regulations imposed by the health experts and the government. The recent one was an illegal rave in Lieuron south of Rennes in Brittany which was attended by nearly 2,500 people for which the local police claims they tried to "prevent this event but faced fierce hostility from many partygoers".

The party took place after the Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin claimed to have deployed nearly 132,000 police officers on the streets of France for patrolling on New Year's Eve.

On Friday, France recorded 19,348 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours. France has also suspended all incoming passengers from the UK after a fresh outbreak of the new variant of coronavirus.