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In pictures: Weeks into coronavirus lockdown, Paris adapts to a new way of life

An empty merry-go-round near the Eiffel Tower.
An empty merry-go-round near the Eiffel Tower. © Mehdi Chebil

Parisians and others are adapting to a new way of life as a country-wide lockdown against the coronavirus outbreak entered its second week on March 30. Normally crowded tourist landmarks are eerily deserted while police and joggers have taken over the mostly empty streets.All non-essential commercial activities have been banned until at least April 15 and the government has urged people to stay indoors or risk being fined. This series of pictures taken in late March shows what daily life in the French capital has become.

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The Trocadero esplanade overlooking the Eiffel Tower is eerily deserted. Several police officers patrol the windswept square, which is usually teeming with tourists and illegal street vendors, checking people’s permission forms: Anyone on the streets must now carry a signed document stating their reason for not remaining at home.
The Trocadero esplanade overlooking the Eiffel Tower is eerily deserted. Several police officers patrol the windswept square, which is usually teeming with tourists and illegal street vendors, checking people’s permission forms: Anyone on the streets must now carry a signed document stating their reason for not remaining at home. © Mehdi Chebil

A security guard in front of the entrance to the Louvre museum. The French capital's landmarks feel especially empty because they usually cater to tourists and have none of the essential shops - bakeries, pharmacies, grocery shops - that have been allowed to stay open during the lockdown.
A security guard in front of the entrance to the Louvre museum. The French capital's landmarks feel especially empty because they usually cater to tourists and have none of the essential shops - bakeries, pharmacies, grocery shops - that have been allowed to stay open during the lockdown. © Mehdi Chebil

An empty merry-go-round near the Eiffel Tower. All non-essential commercial activities have been banned until at least April 15.
An empty merry-go-round near the Eiffel Tower. All non-essential commercial activities have been banned until at least April 15. © Mehdi Chebil

The French lockdown is not as tight as those in Italy or Spain. For example, people are allowed to go out for one hour of physical activity as long as they remain within one kilometre of their homes.
The French lockdown is not as tight as those in Italy or Spain. For example, people are allowed to go out for one hour of physical activity as long as they remain within one kilometre of their homes. © Mehdi Chebil

Paris parks have been closed since the beginning of the lockdown, which helps explain why so many people are now running in the streets. Here, empty chairs are seen at the iconic Jardin des Tuileries.
Paris parks have been closed since the beginning of the lockdown, which helps explain why so many people are now running in the streets. Here, empty chairs are seen at the iconic Jardin des Tuileries. © Mehdi Chebil

The Place de la Concorde, one of the Paris's central squares and usually teeming with traffic, is now mostly empty.
The Place de la Concorde, one of the Paris's central squares and usually teeming with traffic, is now mostly empty. © Mehdi Chebil

A woman with a protective mask sits alone in the Parisian metro. Metro, bus and tram services in Paris have been severely curtailed but are still functioning during the lockdown.
A woman with a protective mask sits alone in the Parisian metro. Metro, bus and tram services in Paris have been severely curtailed but are still functioning during the lockdown. © Mehdi Chebil

Despite the lockdown, Parisians try to keep their spirits up. This man wears a protective mask that looks like a clown mask.
Despite the lockdown, Parisians try to keep their spirits up. This man wears a protective mask that looks like a clown mask. © Mehdi Chebil

As most Parisians remain at home, animals can explore the empty streets. Here, a duck walks on the pavement on the normally bustling Champs-Élysées avenue.
As most Parisians remain at home, animals can explore the empty streets. Here, a duck walks on the pavement on the normally bustling Champs-Élysées avenue. © Mehdi Chebil

A woman hands out free boxed meals behind a plastic barrier installed near Saint-Médard church. Charities have adapted their food distribution processes to continue helping the homeless and unemployed during the coronavirus lockdown.
A woman hands out free boxed meals behind a plastic barrier installed near Saint-Médard church. Charities have adapted their food distribution processes to continue helping the homeless and unemployed during the coronavirus lockdown. © Mehdi Chebil

A jogger with a protective mask does his allotted hour of daily physical activity on one of Paris's iconic bridges.
A jogger with a protective mask does his allotted hour of daily physical activity on one of Paris's iconic bridges. © Mehdi Chebil

A police officer checks the permission form of a jogger near the Louvre; both wear protective masks. France’s scientific council has said the lockdown is currently the only efficient strategy for minimising the spread of the virus. Many expect it to be extended beyond April 15.
A police officer checks the permission form of a jogger near the Louvre; both wear protective masks. France’s scientific council has said the lockdown is currently the only efficient strategy for minimising the spread of the virus. Many expect it to be extended beyond April 15. © Mehdi Chebil

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