sunny.png
Saturday March 6th, 2021 6:35PM

Paris on maximum virus alert, closing bars, not restaurants

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PARIS (AP) — French authorities placed the Paris region on maximum virus alert on Monday, banning festive gatherings and requiring all bars to close but allowing restaurants to remain open, as numbers of infections increased rapidly.

Paris police prefect Didier Lallement announced the new restrictions would apply at least for the next two weeks.

“We are continuously adapting to the reality of the virus. We are taking measures to slow down (its spread)," he said.

French authorities consider bars to be major infection hot spots because patrons don't respect social distancing rules as much as they do at restaurants.

Starting on Tuesday, bars will be closed in Paris and its suburbs. Student parties and all other festive and family events in establishments open to the public will be banned.

Restaurants will remain open under strict conditions. They include a minimum one-meter (three-foot) distance between each table, groups limited to six people instead of 10 previously, and a request to register customers' names and phone numbers to help alert those who may have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus .

Indoor sport facilities, including swimming pools, will only be open to children aged under 18. Gyms are already closed.

Cinemas, theaters and museums will remain open with strict sanitary rules, but fairs and professional shows won’t be allowed.

Authorities have maintained the limit of 1,000 spectators per day at big sports events, allowing the Roland-Garros tennis tournament to continue as planned this week.

The director of the Regional Health Authority, Aurelien Rousseau, said about 3,500 new cases of infection are confirmed on average each day in the Paris region, and 36% of ICU beds in the area are occupied by COVID-19 patients.

The owner of one Paris eatery north of the Bastille felt relief that the measures mean only reasonable constraints for restaurants. He even saw a silver lining.

“I'm relieved that I don't have to close and that the rules are not more stringent,” said Virgil Grunberg, who owns Le Square Gardette.

“It's even worse for bars, because they are going to be closed, so people are going to need places to have a drink and hang out,” Grunberg said. "So I think (customers) are not going to be scared by the new restrictions.”

For Adele Fardoux, 26, a client at Cafe des Anges around the corner from the Place de la Bastille, there is some logic to what sometimes feels “like it's a mess.”

“I think it's an unprecedented situation for everybody — citizens, companies, government — and I think collectively we're all trying to do our best.”

The alert has already been raised to the maximum level for 12 days in the southern city of Marseille and nearby Aix-en-Provence, as well as the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe, in the Caribbean.

Authorities ordered the shutdown of all public venues, including bars and restaurants in these areas, which prompted several demonstrations from angry business owners in Marseille.

On Monday, local authorities announced restaurants in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence would reopen on condition they respect the same restrictions as in Paris.

French health authorities reported on Saturday 16,972 new cases of infection, the highest daily number since the country began widespread testing. The number of new daily cases dipped on Monday to 5,084.

France, one of the hardest hit in Europe, has reported 32,299 virus-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

___

Alex Turnbull in Paris contributed to this report.

___

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Health, AP World News, AP Business
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Paris on maximum virus alert, closing bars, not restaurants
French authorities have placed the Paris region on maximum virus alert, banning festive gatherings and requiring all bars to close but allowing restaurants to remain open, as numbers of infections are rapidly increasing
8:29AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Armenia, Azerbaijan clashes resume over separatist region
The fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh resumed on Monday morning, with both sides accusing each other of launching attacks
8:23AM ( 12 minutes ago )
3 win Nobel medicine prize for discovering hepatitis C virus
Americans Harvey J
8:09AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Floods that hit Italy, France leave 9 dead, several missing
A woman’s body has been discovered in the Mediterranean Sea, bringing to at least nine the number of people killed in severe mountain flooding at the border between France and Italy
7:14AM ( 1 hour ago )
3 win Nobel medicine award for discovering hepatitis C virus
The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded jointly to Americans Harvey J
6:19AM ( 2 hours ago )
3 win Nobel medicine award for Hepatitis C virus discovery
The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded jointly to Americans Harvey J
5:40AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
The Latest: India's new virus totals still on downward trend
India has registered a single-day spike of 74,442 new coronavirus cases, driving the country’s overall tally since the pandemic began to 6.6 million
1:15AM ( 7 hours ago )
Trump seizes on small election issues to spread concern
In the run-up to Election Day, President Donald Trump is seizing on small, potentially routine voting issues to suggest the election is rigged
1:03AM ( 7 hours ago )
Facing a conservative turn, Supreme Court opens new term
With a shift to the conservatives pending, the Supreme Court is opening a new term
12:54AM ( 7 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Greece's economy to shrink by estimated 8.2% this year
Greece’s government has submitted its draft budget for 2021 to Parliament, indicating the country's economy will suffer an estimated contraction of 8.2% this year due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic
7:23AM ( 1 hour ago )
Global shares rise on optimism about Trump's health
Global shares have started the week with gains as investors were encouraged by positive reports about President Donald Trump’s health after he was hospitalized with the coronavirus
7:04AM ( 1 hour ago )
Germany urges UK to make haste with Brexit trade talks
Germany is calling on the United Kingdom to make a big final push to agree on a trade deal with the European Union in the wake of Brexit especially since the coronavirus pandemic in itself is already hitting economies on both sides of the English Channel very hard
6:32AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Armenia, Azerbaijan clashes resume over separatist region
The fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh resumed on Monday morning, with both sides accusing each other of launching attacks
8:23AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Survey: Business economists see coronavirus as biggest risk
The U.S. economy faces risks from a potential resurgence of the coronavirus and from the failure so far of Congress to provide additional financial support for struggling individuals and businesses
8:07AM ( 28 minutes ago )
The Latest: WHO: 1 in 10 people may have contracted COVID-19
The head of emergencies at the World Health Organization says its “best estimates” indicate that roughly one in 10 people worldwide may have been infected by the coronavirus
8:04AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Obscure works by Chandler, Christie published this week
Two of crime fiction’s most famous storytellers, Raymond Chandler and Agatha Christie, also knew how to get a laugh
8:02AM ( 33 minutes ago )