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France to raise Covid-19 alert to highest level in Paris and other big cities

A woman wearing a protective mask walks past a sign showing the area where face coverings are mandatory in the city of Bordeaux, in southwestern France, on September 16, 2020.
A woman wearing a protective mask walks past a sign showing the area where face coverings are mandatory in the city of Bordeaux, in southwestern France, on September 16, 2020. © Philippe Lopez, AFP.
2 min

France is set to raise the coronavirus alert level in Paris and other top cities to "scarlet", the highest level, as part of efforts to stem a continuing rise in the daily number of infections, a government source told AFP.

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Health Minister Olivier Véran will announce new measures later on Wednesday as he holds his weekly press conference to chart the outbreak's progression, the source said.

France has reported a surge in daily cases, prompting officials to urge people to limit social gatherings and wear masks in public at all times.

In the larger Paris Ile-de-France area, the incidence rate of infection has risen to 204 per 100,000 inhabitants, higher than in other hard-hit cities such as Lyon and Marseille, which have already tightened measures to curb virus transmission.

The capital had a positive coronavirus test rate of 9.9 percent last week, compared to a national rate of 6.1 percent Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Lyon became the latest city to limit attendance at major outdoor events including festivals to 1,000 people and prohibit the sale and consumption of alcohol outdoors from 8pm.

The new rules for Lyon, France's third largest city, followed similar measures in Marseille, Bordeaux and Nice as the coronavirus resurges across the country and the testing system buckles under heavy demand.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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