PARIS, Oct 17 (Reuters) - The streets and terraces of Paris
and eight cities in France emptied on Saturday night as people
were asked to stay home to stem a second wave of the coronavirus
that caused a record daily number of infections in the country.
French President Emmanuel Macron last week ordered nightly
curfews in cities where the coronavirus was the most active,
saying it was spreading at parties and private gatherings and
action was needed or else hospitals risked being overwhelmed.
While some people understood the need to contain the virus,
restaurant managers cautioned about the impact on a sector that
already suffered major losses during the spring lockdown.
"There will surely be employees who will lose their jobs,
several restaurants will go bankrupt," said Stefano Anselmo, 44,
manager of Italian restaurant Bianco in Paris. "It's a
France, like other European countries, is grappling with how
to slow the virus spread and ease pressure on a once-again
strained healthcare system while keeping its 2.3 trillion euro
($2.7 trillion) economy open and protecting jobs.
"For restaurateurs I understand that it is difficult but
there is a moment when it is necessary to make a balance between
public health and economic health," said Bastien Delaunay, a
22-year-old law student.
The number of new coronavirus infections in France jumped
more than 32,000 in one day on Saturday for the first time since
the start of the epidemic, health ministry data showed.
The 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfews will last at least four weeks.
"On Saturday night we used to go out all the time. We
organised many things and now that's over. At 9 p.m. we must go
home. That's the time when we used to go out," 22-year old
Jeanne Baudin, said while sitting on a terrace with friends.
($1 = 0.8534 euros)
(Reporting by Antoine Boddaert; Writing by Sybille de La
Hamaide; Editing by Daniel Wallis)