French officials are likely to put Paris on high alert as soon as possible on Monday, which could close all liquor stores and require other new restrictions as the number of Covid 19 cases rises, Health Minister Oliver Vern said on Thursday.
Vernon told a news conference that the capital, which has a population of about seven million, and its adjoining suburbs have already exceeded the maximum warning limits.
“We need a few days to confirm the trends, but if they are confirmed, we have no choice but to be on maximum alert from Monday,” he said.
“This means that people in Paris and the suburbs will have to severely limit their social interactions … and no family gatherings, no evenings, and liquor stores will be closed en masse,” he said.
“We are at a point where the situation is getting worse.”
So far, only the southern city of Marseille and the Caribbean region of Guadeloupe have been placed on maximum alert, leading to the closure of bars and restaurants, and the closure of public spaces such as museums and cinemas unless there are strict security procedures.
But Warren said the five cities of Lilly, Lyon, Grenoble, Toulouse and Saint-Etienne could be put on maximum alert next week.
Already in Paris, bars are due to close at 10:00 pm (2000 GMT), and gyms are fully closed.
From mid-March to mid-May, the government said it would take every precaution necessary to avoid a new emergency that would require general locking, as imposed at the height of the eruption.