French police issue more than 3,000 curfew fines

Police officers have conducted more than 19,000 checks and handed out 3,019 fines since the 9pm curfew entered into effect this weekend, according to the French interior minister.

French police issue more than 3,000 curfew fines
Police officers check a pedestrian's curfew attestation on October 17th in Paris. Photo: AFP

Gérald Darmanin presented the numbers on Monday, saying they proved that “the police and the gendarmerie are present” to ensure that the curfew is respected.

The curfew entered into effect on Saturday, and was imposed by the French government in a bid to slow down the spiralling Covid-19 rates in Paris and the eight other cities concerned.

For at least four weeks, some 20 million inhabitants of nine French cities under curfew must stay inside their homes between 9pm and 6pm, unless they have a valid reason to be outside (such as work, medical errands or other exceptions listed here).

READ ALSO  What are the rules of France's new nighttime curfew?

'It's respected'

Darmanin told the TV channel TF1 that the checks issued so far had shown that the inhabitants in the French cities concerned largely respected the rules.

“The French are paying attention to health situation like the President wanted,” Darmanin said.

“In its near entirety, this curfew is respected,” he said, specifying that the checks and fines included both individuals and establishments.

Restaurants, cinemas and other businesses must also close down at 9pm, with the exception of some takeaway services.

Anyone who does not respect the curfew risks a fine of €135, which can go up to €3,750 and six months in prison for repeat offenders.

Rising Covid-19 numbers

France on Monday reported another spike in Covid-19 numbers, with hospital intensive care units exceeding more than 2,000 Covid-19 patients for the first time since May.

Hospitals in the Paris region said Covid-19 patients now filled over 50 percent of their total capacity.
The hope is that the curfew will slow down what health authorities said to be “too quickly” rising numbers.


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French public urged to wear face masks again on public transport

With France in the middle of a new wave of Covid-19, the country's health minister has urged the public to once again wear face masks on public transport and in crowded spaces.

French public urged to wear face masks again on public transport

With cases on the rise again, French Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon said she is “[asking] the French to put masks back on in transport” in an interview with RTL on Monday, 

For the time being, however, she stressed it was just advice, rather than an obligation, and masks have in fact been recommended on public transport since the legal requirement to wear them was lifted in May. 

However with France reporting over 50,000 daily cases of Covid-19 the government is clearly concerned by the current wave of the pandemic.

Bourguignon said that “we must protect ourselves and protect others,” adding that wearing a mask is “a civic gesture.”

She urged people to don their masks as soon as they see a crowded train or station.

READ MORE: Return of the health pass? How France plans to tackle new wave of Covid cases

In addition to public transport, Bourguignon is also asking the French to once again mask-up in “all crowded, enclosed areas.”

Currently, masks are only required in hospitals, health centres and places that have vulnerable residents such as nursing homes. They are recommended in crowded spaces where it is impossible to practice social distancing.