Record infections in France as restrictions spark outcry

Record infections in France as restrictions spark outcry

Thursday, September 24, 2020

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PARIS,France(AFP) — France reported a new record for daily coronavirus infections on Thursday a day after the government announced new restrictions on bars and restaurants in major cities which have provoked an outcry from local politicians and business owners.

Figures from Public Health France showed that 16,096 people had tested positive for COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, a record — even though experts advise that testing during the first coronavirus wave in March-April captured only a fraction of cases.

The centrist government of President Emmanuel Macron announced a series of new measures on Wednesday to try to slow the spread of the disease, including the closure of all bars and restaurants in Marseille and earlier closing times in Paris and elsewhere.

Faced with criticism from the mayors of Paris and Marseille, legal challenges and calls from some bar owners to defy the new orders, Prime Minister Jean Castex called for "responsibility" and implied his opponents were playing politics.

"What I don't want is that we go back to March," he said, referring to one of the strictest national lockdowns in Europe in which French people were required to fill out forms to leave their homes.


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