France to issue more restrictions in cities as Europe strives to contain COVID-19

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Bars will close in two other French cities due to the increase in hospitalizations linked to COVID-19 and a significant increase in cases.Toulouse and Montpellier will see their alert level for COVID-19 increased to the maximum on Tuesday, joining many other cities in France: Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Saint-Etienne and Grenoble.

It comes after the country recorded a record number of new cases on Saturday: nearly 27,000 in 24 hours.

Prime Minister Jean Castex urged the French in an interview on Monday to limit the number of people they invite to their homes.

“I cannot regulate private spaces, according to our constitutional law, but there is someone who can regulate the private sphere, it is the owner,” Castex told FranceInfo, equating the fight against the virus with a ” race “.

He said France was in the middle of a second wave of the virus and said people needed to be more vigilant. Castex also said a new version of the country’s StopCovid phone app will be released next week.

French media reported that President Emmanuel Macron is expected to address the country later in the week.

Toulouse mayor Jean-Luc Moudec said he did not approve the decision to close bars in his city from Tuesday, one of the main restrictions for areas at maximum alert level.

“I consider that most of the spread of the virus takes place in the private sphere. So let’s stop harassing an economy that is already in bad shape, ”Moudec said in a tweet.

Many local officials protested the government’s decisions after their cities were given a higher alert level – Marseille’s elected officials, in particular, fought the government over restrictions.

Eventually, restaurants were allowed to reopen in the city after the sector negotiated with the government agreeing to implement new sanitation measures, including limiting groups to six people.

The head of the regional health agency in Ile-de-France, the region where Paris is located, called on citizens to “drastically reduce” social interactions.

“Only millions of individual decisions can now reverse the virus,” tweeted Aurélien Rousseau.

There are nearly 8,000 people hospitalized in France, the highest number since the end of March when the country was in lockdown. Hospitalizations, however, are increasing more slowly than in March.

France has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in Europe after Spain, where Madrid recently entered a state of emergency.

Meanwhile, many European countries are trying to thwart the rise in cases, most notably the UK and Germany.

“We’re at a tipping point similar to where we were in March; but we can prevent history from repeating itself if we all act now, ”England’s chief medical assistant professor Jonathan Van-Tam wrote on Sunday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to unveil a three-tier alert system on Monday to set out the rules that will be implemented when cases and hospitalizations increase locally.

Germany, which has been considered successful in Europe with less than 10,000 deaths, now has curfews in Berlin and Frankfurt after recording more than 4,000 cases per day.

Chancellor Angela Merkel appealed to the younger ones on Friday, saying: “Everything will come back – party, go out, have fun without corona rules. But now something else matters – mindfulness and cohesion, the simple basics of distance, hygiene and wearing a mask. ”

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