COVID-19 restrictions tighten further in France with bars to close in four other cities

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Bars will be forced to close in four other French cities after the government decided to tighten restrictions as new coronavirus infections continue to rise.From Saturday, the cities of Lille, Lyon, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne will be designated maximum alert zones.

Similar measures have already been put in place in the cities of Paris and Marseille as well as in the overseas department of Guadeloupe, as France battles a second wave of the virus.

The news comes as 18,129 new positive COVID-19 cases were reported in the country on Thursday – on day two, the number of infections remained above the 18,000 mark.

France surpassed its highest 24-hour case count on Wednesday with a daily total of 18,746 cases.

During his weekly press briefing on Thursday, French Health Minister Olivier Véran warned that cities like Toulouse and Montpellier should also be placed on high alert by next week.

“The health situation in France, unfortunately, continues to worsen. Every day in France, more and more people are infected, more and more are falling ill and more and more are suffering from serious after-effects which require hospitalization, ”he declared.

The country’s maximum alert level comes when the incidence rate of the virus exceeds 250 cases per 100,000 population and at least 30% of intensive care beds are reserved for COVID-19 patients.

President Emmanuel Macron warned Wednesday in an interview with TF1 and France 2 that new restrictions on coronaviruses were imminent.

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