FRance is set to introduce a nighttime curfew and delay the opening of cultural venues as the nation struggles to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Jean Castex, the French Prime Minister, said on Thursday that infection rates were not dropping as fast as had been hoped following the country’s lockdown which began in late October.
Museums, cinemas and theaters as well as sports venues, which were due to reopen on December 15, will remain closed for an additional three weeks.
Bars and restaurants will remain closed until at least January 20. Some non-essential stores have been open since November 28.
The curfew will still be in effect on New Years Eve to avoid large gatherings, Castex confirmed.
The government previously said the current restrictions would only be lifted when new daily cases drop to around 5,000 per day. The number currently remains above 10,000 – there have been 13,750 infections today.
France has recorded more than 2.3 million cases and nearly 57,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Mr Castex said at a press conference: “We are not yet at the end of this second wave and we will not meet the targets we set ourselves for December 15th. We cannot let our guard down.
“We need to stay focused and find our way over the next few weeks with great vigilance. ”
The decision to keep cultural venues closed has been criticized by some, with actor and director Phillipe Lellouche telling BFM TV: “We are tired of not being given more consideration. Once again, culture is left by the wayside. ”