Paris will be placed on high alert with more Covid-19 restrictions

Pub in France. The French capital has seen a rise in cases of Covid-19 virus, and it has recently been designated a “red zone”, which imposes a set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Kieran Ridley | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Paris and surrounding suburbs were put on “high alert” on Monday as coronavirus cases spiked in the city.

Bars will close in the French capital on Tuesday as part of a new package of restrictions designed to stop the spread of the virus, but restaurants will be allowed to remain open, with “enhanced precautions”, according to France 24.

Specific measures were set by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo at 11:30 a.m. local time on Monday and will come into effect on Tuesday. The news agency reported that the measures are expected to last for 15 days. University halls should not be more than half full.

Labor Secretary Elizabeth Borne has pleaded with people in affected areas to work from home, if possible.

France reported nearly 17,000 new cases on Saturday and 12,565 other confirmed cases on Sunday, according to official public health data, taking the total number of cases to 629,509, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Paris has been placed on high alert with the rate of Covid-19 infection exceeding 250 per 100,000 among the general public. The maximum alert is also triggered when two other criteria are met – when the infection rate among those over the age of 65 is above 100 per 100,000 people, and when at least 30% of the beds are reserved in intensive care units for Covid-19 patients.

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“We like to drink”

France has moved to contain the second wave of cases of coronavirus that began emerging in August. Marseille, the second largest city in France, and Aux-en-Provence and its environs, as well as the overseas province of Guadalupe, have also been placed under the maximum alert protocol in the past two weeks.

It is pointless to ignore the seriousness of the situation, said Aurelin Rousseau, the head of the regional health agency in Paris who will be among the officials announcing the restrictive measures on Monday. “I see no reason for denial. The numbers are there, they weigh heavily,” he tweeted on Sunday.

In remarks published on Sunday, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanen said closing bars and cafes would be “harsh” for the public.

“We are French and we like to drink, eat, live, smile and kiss each other,” he told LCI and Europe 1 on Sunday. “But we also do that because people want us to.”

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