No party: Paris streets deserted on Saturday night as curfew kicks in

WION Web Team New Delhi Oct 18, 2020, 10.07 AM(IST)

Empty streets are seen in Montmartre during the late-night curfew due to restrictions against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Paris, France, October 17, 2020 Photograph:( Reuters )

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French President Emmanuel Macron last week ordered nightly curfews in cities where the coronavirus was the most active, saying it was spreading at parties and private gatherings and action was needed or else hospitals risked being overwhelmed

Streets of Paris and eight big cities wore a deserted look as people refrained from Saturday night partying in light of coronavirus curfew that was newly brought into effect. The curfew is being enforced to stem a second wave of coronavirus infection that has been causing a record daily number of new cases.

"On Saturday night we used to go out all the time. We organised many things and now that's over. At 9 p.m. we must go home. That's the time when we used to go out," 22-year old Jeanne Baudin, said while sitting on a terrace with friends.

French President Emmanuel Macron last week ordered nightly curfews in cities where the coronavirus was the most active, saying it was spreading at parties and private gatherings and action was needed or else hospitals risked being overwhelmed. Under the new curfew rules citizens in the cities will not be allowed to come outdoors between 9 pm and 6 am each night.

Surveys have revealed that people largely support the new restrictions. But restaurant managers have cautioned about possible losses to the sector that has already taken a hit owing to previous lockdowns.

"There will surely be employees who will lose their jobs, several restaurants will go bankrupt," said Stefano Anselmo, 44, manager of Italian restaurant Bianco in Paris. "It's a disaster." He was quoted by Reuters.

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However, public opinion seems to be for restrictions.

"For restaurateurs I understand that it is difficult but there is a moment when it is necessary to make a balance between public health and economic health," Bastien Delaunay, a 22-year-old law student told Reuters.

The curfews will last four weeks.

(With Reuters inputs)