France: hardened curfew, restaurants, cafes and cultural places remain closed

The curfew which will be implemented from 8:00 p.m. from December 15 will also apply during New Years Eve on December 31.

L“improvement of the epidemic” of coronavirus “has stalled for a week” in France and “the game is far from won”, warned Thursday Jean Castex before detailing the possible easing of confinements for the end of year celebrations ‘year.

“We are on a kind of plateau,” said the Prime Minister, while some 14,000 contaminations were identified Thursday. “The number of new contaminations is no longer reduced, and it has even tended to increase slightly again in recent days,” Mr. Castex noted at a press conference.

The curfew will begin at 8 p.m., instead of 9 p.m., from December 15, with no exceptions for December 31. Travel is authorized for the evening of December 24.

This New Year’s Eve “concentrates all the ingredients for an epidemic rebound”, and “if the circulation had continued to decrease sharply, we could have assumed this risk, but this is not the case” and we must “respect the rule of curfew, stay at home, therefore, on December 31, ”declared the head of government.

Jean Castex confirmed Thursday that “the possibility of traveling throughout the territory” would be authorized again from December 15, despite “stricter rules” than expected against the Covid-19, and invited to continue teleworking ” wherever it is possible ”.

All of the measures announced “allow us to maintain the possibility of traveling throughout the country from December 15,” said the Prime Minister during a press conference. “However, they do not allow us to reduce the use of telework wherever possible,” he added.

Museums, theaters and cinemas closed for three more weeks

Cinemas, theaters and museums will not reopen on December 15 and will remain closed for three more weeks, to reduce the risk of the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced Thursday.

“Even if all these establishments have health protocols, the logic that we must follow is to avoid increasing the flow, the concentrations, the mixing of the public”, declared the head of government. This measure also concerns “the reception of the public in sports grounds, in circuses, zoological parks or even gaming rooms and casinos”.

Bars and restaurants remain closed.

At the end of October, Emmanuel Macron had conditioned phase 2 of deconfinement, after the reopening of shops at the end of November, on several criteria, including the threshold of 5,000 cases detected per day. However, even if the peak of 60,000 cases of the second wave, at the end of October-beginning of November, is far away, the objective is moving a little further each day: 14,595 positive cases were recorded on Wednesday.

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