The government is already facing criticsm for the slow pace its vaccination regime, with just a few hundred people vaccinating in the first days after the vaccine was approved.
The current nationwide 8pm will be enforced two hours earlier and imposed across 15 of France’s 101 departments including the Alpes-Maritimes where the Mediterranean city of Nice is located.
It comes after 2,500 revellers packed into an underground New Year’s Eve party in western France before attacking and injuring police who were sent to shut it down.
The other areas of the new 8pm until 6am curfew are concentrated in the east of the country and Paris has, for now, been spared the additional restriction.
‘The virus is continuing to spread in France… but with a disparity between regions,’ said government spokesman Gabriel Attal as he announced the move.
‘If the situation were to deteriorate further in certain areas, we will take the necessary decisions,’ he told TF1 broadcaster.
The measure had been urged by mayors increasingly concerned that their local health systems are being overburdened by an influx of new cases.
It comes as France has recorded a total of 64,632 deaths and 2,620,425 cases.
Mr Attal also confirmed that theatres, cinemas and concert halls would not be able to reopen from January 7, the most recent minimum date given for their closure.
Meanwhile he defended the pace of France’s campaign to vaccinate against Covid-19, which TF1 noted has seen just 332 people vaccinated in the country so far compared with over 130,000 in Germany since it began last weekend.
Speaking about France targeting its campaign on care homes for the elderly which took more time, he said: ‘We are not going to judge a vaccination campaign that will last six months in just a few days’.
It comes as 2,500 revellers in western France attacked police sent to shut them down, torching one of their vehicles and injuring officers with volleys of bottles and stones, officials said on Friday.
Ravers aboard hundreds of vehicles started converging on hangars in Lieuron, Brittany, on Thursday night as they partied into the New Year, the regional government said today in a statement.
Police and their vehicles were attacked when they tried to stop the ravers from installing their party gear and some officers suffered light injuries, the statement said.
Source : Daily Mail