Louvre museum in Paris closes over coronavirus fears

Paris (AFP) –


The Louvre museum in Paris kept its doors closed to visitors Sunday as staff withheld labour citing fears over the coronavirus, a union representative told AFP.

Some 300 staff of the world's most visited museum met in the morning and voted "almost unanimously" not to open in the morning, Christian Galani of the CGT labour union told AFP.

"The meeting was arranged to discuss the concerns of staff," he said, adding management representatives were unable to convince workers to go to work.

France has recorded 100 coronavirus cases, and two deaths, since the end of January.

On Saturday, the government announced several measures to try and curb the outbreak, including cancelling all gatherings of more than 5,000 people in confined spaces.

"The Louvre is a confined space which welcomes more than 5,000 people a day," said Galani, adding: "there is real concern on the part of staff."

Workers are demanding stepped up protective measures, including the provision of hand sanitising gel and window barriers to separate cashiers from members of the public.

The Louvre received 9.6 million visitors in 2019.