French authorities could put Paris at full alert for viruses as early as Monday, potentially requiring all bars to be closed and other new restrictions as Covid-19 cases rise, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Thursday. France Press.
The capital and its immediate suburbs, which include nearly seven million people, have already violated the maximum warning thresholds, Veran told a news conference.
“We need a few days to confirm the trends, but if they are confirmed, we will have no choice but to put it on high alert from Monday,”
“This would mean that people in Paris and the suburbs will have to drastically limit their social interactions … no more family gatherings, no dinners outside and no full closure of the bars,” he added.
“We are in a phase where the situation is getting worse.”
So far, only the southern city of Marseille and the Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe have been put on high alert, leading to the closure of bars, as well as the closure of restaurants and the cessation of public places such as museums and cinemas, unless strict precautions are in place.
But Veran said five other cities – Lille, Lyon, Grenoble, Toulouse and Saint-Etienne – could also be put on high alert next week.
Already in Paris, the bars are due to close at 22:00 (2000 GMT) and the gyms are completely closed.
The government said it would take all necessary precautions to avoid a new state of emergency, which would require a general blockade such as that imposed in the midst of the outbreak, from mid-March to mid-May.