The decision, announced by health minister Olivier Véran during a press conference, did not go down well with local authorities, who said they were not consulted in advance and quickly denounced what they claimed was a central government out of touch with anywhere that was not Paris.
The metropole of Aix-Marseille is currently the only area of France on 'maximum alert' level which involves closing all bars and restaurants, although Paris could be following suit on Monday.
“End the health dictatorship,” read the banner of a restaurant that refused to close down, along with a few other establishments in the city, at the risk of steep fines if caught by police.
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A restaurant that did not want to close down in Marseille. Photo: AFP