France's virus curfew leaves Paris streets empty

Madeleine square is empty during curfew in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

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

The measure was announced this week by French President Emmanuel Macron to curb the resurgent as new daily infections peaked last week to over 30,000. Macron said the curfews were needed to stop hospitals from becoming overrun.

Many restaurant owners are up in arms about the move that is forcing them to close early, something that they say will devastate the industry.

In , nearly 20 million people are covered by the curfew and eerily deserted scenes were observed in Marseille, Lyon, Lille and Toulouse as well. The curfew runs until 6 a.m. daily.

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

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