Paris Adds New Curfew for Takeout, Food Delivery as Coronavirus Cases Continue to Rise
Earlier this week, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo encouraged the French government to allow the city to re-open some independent bookshops and other small retailers, in an attempt to boost the economy during the country's second pandemic-related lockdown. Health minister Olivier Veran was blunt in his assessment why that could not happen.
"She cannot ignore the fact that every 15 minutes, in the hospitals of Paris, there is someone ill who has been hospitalized with COVID. She cannot ignore the fact that every 30 seconds, there is a Parisian who has been infected," he said. "We want to save the Parisians and the French people, and we will do that with determination and consistency."
Hidalgo seems to have gotten the message, and has since announced further restrictions in the capital city. Starting on Friday, Paris will ban all food delivery and stop to-go orders for both food and alcohol from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. every night. France24 reports that any public sale or consumption of alcoholic drinks "in public spaces" will be curbed during those hours as well.
The Parisian mayor said that the new curfews felt like a necessary step to keep groups of people from gathering outside bars and restaurants—but there's always the fear that it will not prevent the "parties, raves, [and] private dinners" that French government sources have reportedly seen in the city.
"When you get people who are not playing by the rules of the game, and are therefore putting at risk the health of a large number of people, that is when you need to put in place new restrictions," Hidalgo said.
The new countrywide lockdown went into effect last week, but it has not yet had a measurable impact on the number of new cases of coronavirus, nor has it decreased the number of hospitalizations. France reported 58,000 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday—a grim new record—and there were 363 additional deaths. Paris health officials said that 92 percent of the region's ICU beds are now occupied by 1,050 COVID patients and 600 patients with other serious health problems. "It's unbearable for those who respect the rules to see other French people flouting them," a government spokesperson said earlier this week. "We need to take all the steps needed to fight the epidemic."