Bars closed, congresses banned, restaurants subject to stricter health rules: the Paris police prefect announced new restrictive measures as of Tuesday to deal with the worrying progression of COVID-19 in the French capital and nearby suburbs.
“These are braking measures because the epidemic is moving too fast. It must be slowed down before the health care system is overwhelmed, ”Didier Lallement explained on Monday during a press conference alongside Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo.
These new provisions will remain in force for 15 days.
Ms. Hidalgo considered that the health situation was “very serious” in the capital. The government had ruled on Sunday evening, deciding to put Paris on the same level as Marseille and the West Indian island of Guadeloupe.
Unsurprisingly, the prefect of police announced the closure of bars, warning that he would be “relentless on those who constantly want to bend the rule.”
Restaurants may remain open at “usual hours”, but must comply with a “new health protocol” validated by the High Council of Public Health. Among these provisions, a distance of one meter between each table, limited to six guests compared to ten previously, and the wearing of a protective mask most of the time, except when eating the dishes.
This protocol will apply throughout France, in maximum alert zones and heightened alert zones, including Aix-Marseille, where restaurants had to lower their curtains a week ago.
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Paris crossed the three thresholds corresponding to placement in the maximum alert zone several days ago, the government said.
The incidence rate thus still exceeds 250 per 100,000 inhabitants in the capital and the critical level of 100 among those over 65. As for the occupancy rate of intensive care beds for patients with COVID-19, it is also above the maximum alert threshold of 30% in the Paris region, according to figures from the Regional Health Agency.
New measures imposed in Paris and the surrounding suburbs also include a ban on fairs, trade shows and events held in exhibition centers, such as conventions, and marquee shows, such as those in circuses.
Wedding parties, student parties or any other festive event in a place rented for the occasion remain prohibited.
Shopping centers and department stores are spared, but will have to respect a customer’s tonnage for 4 m².
Regarding sports activities, the main novelty is the closure to adults of swimming pools, which will remain open to minors. Sports and training halls are always closed. In the open air, stadiums and training grounds remain open up to a limit of 1,000 people or 50% of their maximum capacity. Cultural venues – cinemas, theaters, museums – also remain open.
In universities located in high alert and maximum alert zones, lecture theaters can only be filled to a maximum of 50% of their capacity.