By Tony Winterburn • 19 February 2021 • 22:24
Paris Steps Up Police Patrols While Lyon Bans Booze As French Authorities Fear Warm Weather Will Spark Covid Rule-Breaking.
THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT has announced plans to strengthen its police patrols ahead of the predicted warm weather this weekend in a bid to make sure the rise in temperatures isn’t matched by a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases.
Officials across the country fear a combination of pleasant spring weather in conjunction with the break-up of some schools for holidays could encourage people to gather in groups, thus risking the increased spread of the virus.
Police chiefs in the capital will launch a “large-scale” operation involving 4,000 officers from Saturday to enforce the country’s strict 6 pm to 6 am curfews, imposed to stem the spread of Covid-19. Increased patrols in Paris’s wider Île-de-France region will be mobilized to ensure people are not travelling unnecessarily.
Temperatures are forecast to vary around 20 degrees Celsius (70 Fahrenheit) across much of the country after a recent cold snap, which authorities worry could draw curfew-weary crowds to parks and riverbanks.
Already today, Friday, TV reports showed flocks of people enjoying maskless drinks outside restaurants in Paris, reminiscent of the huge crowds that flouted the ban on groups of more than six in warm months last year.
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