France to close nightclubs, discos amid surge in COVID infections
EUROPE

France to close nightclubs, discos amid surge in COVID infections

Premier Jean Castex calls on people to slow down on social interactions ahead of year-end holidays

News Service AA

France has ordered nightclubs and discotheques to close for one month beginning Dec. 10 to stem a surge in coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced Monday.

The decision will impact around 1,200 such establishments which had only reopened in July this year.

Following a high-level Health Defense Council meeting, Castex in a national address declared that an “exception” was made for the nightclubs and discos to close as they are majorly visited by young people.

“The virus circulates a lot among young people, even the vaccinated,” he said.

Although the government has announced economic support to recover the loss, owners of the establishments expressed anger for being singled out.

Castex also appealed to people to “slow down” ahead of the holiday season and take precautions while gathering outdoors or visiting Christmas markets and shopping centers in order to avoid another lockdown. A new protocol for such events will be issued in the coming days.

To limit circulation of the virus among young children in schools, it will be obligatory for students to wear masks on the premises even during recess time.

Health Minister Olivier Veran said the fifth wave appeared to be more contagious in nature but less deadly and a higher vaccination level could prevent severe cases.

There are around 25 confirmed cases of the omicron variant in the country.

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