France reviews options for tighter COVID-19 restrictions – sources

PARIS — French authorities are looking at a range of options for the further tightening of restrictions to try to contain the spread of COVID-19 infection, according to three sources familiar with the government’s thinking.

France two weeks ago imposed a curfew that runs from 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) to 6:00 am every day, giving it some of the strictest restrictions in Europe, but since then new confirmed cases and hospitalisations have kept climbing.

Two industry sources in contact with the government said measures being looked at by officials included moving the start of the curfew forward to earlier in the evening, confining people to their homes at weekends except for essential trips, and the closure of non-essential shops.

Under the scenario officials are examining, those measures would apply to the Paris region, and two other cities badly affected by the virus, Marseille and Lyon, according to the two sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A third source, close to the government, said those measures were among a range of options being examined and which will be presented this week to President Emmanuel Macron. But the government source said no final decision had been taken, and other options could also be chosen. (Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Geert De Clercq)

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