French virus curfew produces eerie quiet on streets of Paris

The streets of Paris and eight other French cities were deserted on Saturday night on the first day of the government-imposed 9 p.m. curfew that is set to last at least four weeks

PARIS -- The streets of Paris and eight other French cities were deserted on Saturday night on the first day of the government-imposed 9 p.m. curfew that is scheduled to last for at least four weeks.

Many bar and restaurant owners have bristled at the order. An earlier months-long lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus in the spring devastated the sector.

“I have the right to question the government’s approach. I think it’s a catastrophic measure for the industry,” said Xavier Denamur, who owns Les Philosophes and several other bistros in Paris’s chic Le Marais district.

Denamur said the curfew should not start before 11 p.m.

“At least that would not destroy us,” he said. “There’s no evidence that this difference of a couple of hours will have any effect on the virus circulating.”

France has seen over 33,300 confirmed deaths in the pandemic, the fourth-highest death toll in Europe.

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