PARIS (AP) – Residents of Paris and several other parts of France spent their first weekend under a one-month limited lockdown. While the French government has insisted the rules will be less strict than in the past, the measures have been criticized as messy.
A travel authorization certificate posted online was so ridiculed by French media for its unnecessary complexity that the Interior Ministry scrapped it within hours. For now, simple proof of residence is required to walk within a 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) radius.
The form that the French government still requires citizens to fill out to travel greater distances – up to 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) was also not accessible online due to a technical glitch. On Sunday, a website simply said, “Available soon. “
Under the new restrictions, non-essential stores have been closed, but people are not required to spend most of the day confined to their homes. The government announced the measures on Thursday as the coronavirus picked up speed in parts of France.
The country reported 35,327 new confirmed cases on Saturday, when the number of COVID-19 patients in French intensive care units rose to 4,353, the most so far this year, the health ministry reported.
“When we look at the figures, they are not viable, and it will become more and more difficult as the virus continues to circulate”, Anaelle Aeschliman, nurse at the Ambroise Pare clinic in the western Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur – Seine, told The Associated Press. “I admit that I was a little disappointed that we were not locked up all over the country.”
The French government has made efforts to avoid imposing a third national lockdown. President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that “lockdown” was not the appropriate term to describe the new regional restrictions.