French Health Minister Olivier Ferrand said Thursday that the French authorities may put Paris on high alert from viruses by Monday, which may require the closure of all bars and other new restrictions with the increase in cases of Coronavirus.
Veran told a press conference that the capital and its nearby suburbs, which have a population of nearly seven million, had already violated the alert limits.
He said: “We need a few days to confirm the trends, but if they are confirmed, we will have no choice but to put them on high alert, as of Monday.”
He added, “This means that people in Paris and its environs will have to drastically reduce their social interactions … no more family gatherings, no more evenings, and a complete closure of bars.”
“We are at a point where the situation is deteriorating.”
So far, only the southern city of Marseille and the Caribbean region of Guadeloupe have been placed on high alert, with bars and restaurants closing and public places such as museums and cinemas closed unless strict guarantees are in place.
But Ferrand said five other cities – Lille, Lyon, Grenoble, Toulouse and Saint-Etienne – could be put on high alert next week.
Already in Paris, the bars have to close at 10:00 pm (2000 GMT) and the gyms have closed completely.
The government said it would take all necessary precautions to avoid a new emergency requiring a general lockdown like the one imposed at the height of the outbreak, from mid-March to mid-May.
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