Six-Week Nightly Virus Curfew for Paris and 8 other French Cities

A view of an empty Rue de Rivoli in Paris, France, on March 15, 2020. (Getty Images)

An overnight curfew will come into effect in Paris and eight other big French cities on Saturday; in order to combat rapidly rising coronavirus infections, President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday, according to dpa.

The curfew will apply from 9 pm to 6 am and should run for at least six weeks in order to have enough time to see if it works; Macron said in a rare interview on prime time television.

The president said the aim of the measure would be to get positive cases down from a current average of 20,000 to 3,000 or 4,000; “because that way we can manage it,” he said.

Macron said that France has not “lost control” of the virus, which caused nearly 29,000 deaths; between March and May and is now surging again after a low level of infections in the summer.

But, he said, there was a “worrying situation” and the health system had little spare capacity; with the current wave taking place nationwide, while in spring Paris and eastern France bore the brunt.

In addition, hospital staff were now with less energy after the first wave of the epidemic, Macron added.

Some 32 per cent of intensive care beds hospitalize Covid-19 patients and the curfew; also aimed to get that down to 10 to 15 per cent, he said.

The curfew will apply in Paris, Marseille, Rouen, Montpellier, Lille, Lyon, Grenoble, Saint Etienne and Toulouse – the cities that are currently on maximum alert for the virus.