PARIS, France, (The World.org) – France has become the latest European nation to announce stricter measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, with a curfew in Paris and eight other cities set to take effect for as many as six weeks starting on Saturday.
The 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew will impact some 20 million of the country’s 67 million people, with urban centers from Lyon to Marseille and Toulouse shutting down every evening. Violating the curfew will carry a fine of about $160 for the first offense and about $1,760 if you’re caught again. The government of French president Emmanuel Macron also announced the extension of a state of health emergency, as a second wave of infections is spreading across much of Europe and the Middle East.
“We must remain united and apply the measures announced by the President of the Republic,” tweeted Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. “It is a new ordeal, and we will face it, together and in solidarity with caregivers.”
Health care workers in France demonstrated Thursday against their working conditions, demanding that the government hire more medical staff to curb their exhaustion. The nationwide day of protests was planned by trade unions and saw street marches of nurses and doctors wearing scrubs and asking for better pay. But the labor organizations said they would not significantly disrupt hospital services.