As France continues to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, Paris and 11 other French cities have instated new restrictions on organized gatherings. The new rules, which will be enforced for a minimum of 15 days, have been established in areas considered to be at "heightened" or "maximum" risk.

According to The Guardian, starting yesterday, September 28th, "festive or recreational events including wedding receptions, festivals, organised gatherings in hired halls, and student parties" have been effectively banned. Cinemas, museums, and theatres can remain open as long as they operate with their own stringent rules in place. The report also notes that gatherings of over 1,000 people are now prohibited and no more than 10 people are permitted to congregate in public places.

Further restrictions include those imposed on all bars, which must shut down by 10PM and remain closed until at least 6AM. Restaurants, however, are able to stay open later. Moreover, the sale and consumption of alcohol in public places are also banned over the duration of the same hours, as is playing music.

"If we don’t put into place drastic measures to slow the circulation of the virus responsible for Covid-19 from this weekend, we will face a second wave much more difficult for hospitals and intensive care units to cope with than the first," said a group of French medical professionals, who wrote an open letter published in the Journal du Dimanche, a French weekly newspaper.

In Paris, extra officers have been commissioned to enforce the new restrictions, and they have been instructed to dole out fines to those who do not comply, according to the city's police chief. The restrictions arrived after the number of positive COVID-19 tests in France rose to 7.4% after a 5.7% clip was reported on September 20th.

Source: The Guardian

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