Curfew in French cities following surge in coronavirus cases

French restaurants, cinemas and theatres are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new virus infections.

France registered more than 30,000 virus cases on Thursday, its highest single-day jump since the pandemic began, and nearly 200 cases per 100,000 people over the past week.

Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot told Le Parisien newspaper she is negotiating for exceptions to a month-long curfew between 9pm and 6am across the Paris region and eight other metropolitan areas.

People sit in the gardens below the Sacre Coeur basilica in the Montmartre district of Paris (Lewis Joly/AP)

The curfew comes into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it.

“The French culture world isn’t invincible, it needs help,” author and filmmaker Yoann Sfar, who has a new movie coming out, said on Friday on RTL radio.

One cinema chain will start opening at 8am in hopes of making up evening losses.

Since Paris restaurants generally open at 7 or 7.30pm for dinner, some might close altogether because it no longer makes financial sense to stay open for such a short shift.


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