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Coronavirus lockdown Paris: The city faces possible confinement as COVID-19 sweeps Europe

French Health Minister Olivier Ferrand said Thursday evening, “Since yesterday, in the past 24 hours, Paris has crossed the threshold that would place it in the category of high alert.”

The “maximum alert” threshold is reached in France when the infection rate reaches 250 per 100,000 people, and Coronavirus patients occupy at least 30% of intensive care beds, and the ratio among the elderly exceeds 100 per 100,000.

The Paris region has already met the last two criteria.

Speaking from the Bichat Claude Bernard hospital in the city, Ferrand said that if “development” is confirmed in the coming days, “we will have no choice but to place Paris and its closest suburbs in the highest alert category by Monday.”

“We will re-examine the indicators on Sunday with the Mayor of Paris and the elected officials,” he added.

Aurelene Rousseau, head of the Paris region health authority, told France Inter radio on Wednesday that 34% of intensive care beds are occupied by Covid-19 patients in the region, and that the infection rate for people over 65 was over 100 per 100,000 inhabitants. .

He said the rate was also high for people between the ages of 20 and 30, at 450 cases per 100,000 people.

Owners of Parisian bars and restaurants demonstrate against the new restrictions on September 28 by hanging signs in front of their accommodation.

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Marseille and the French province of Guadeloupe are already on “high alert”, which means bars and restaurants have been forced to close. According to th French Ministry of Health, This alert level also means the closure of all establishments such as cinemas and museums unless they have strict and respectful health protocols, and an optional closure of beaches and lake areas. The only higher alert level is a “health emergency”.

Many Paris business owners feared the long-term impact of the lockdowns and were protesting the current restrictions.

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Paris was already on a “heightened alert”, with gatherings limited to 10 people and a curfew imposed in bars at 10 pm since Monday. The Paris Police Department said last week that companies could be made to close if they fail to comply with regulations.

Passengers pack a metro train in the morning rush hour on September 28th in Paris.

Masks are mandatory for walkers, cyclists and motorcyclists in the area, and they must be worn in all enclosed public places, including school students over the age of 11.

Cases in France increased by 13,970 on Thursday, bringing the total number to 577,505 with 3,2019 deaths. Cases recorded a record daily increase of 16,096 on September 24.

This news comes after the Spanish government She announced that Madrid It was to be brought back into lockdown, with people unable to leave or enter the area.

Countries across Europe are re-imposing local lockdowns and new restrictions to combat the second wave of infections sweeping the continent, with families in northern England banned from mixing indoors and the Dutch government making masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces.

Fanny Bebel, Gail Fournier and Pierre Bout contributed to the reporting.

Phil Schwartz

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