Côte d’Azur towns on lockdown as new infections skyrocket

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Côte d'Azur towns stranded as new infections increase

In this file photo from January 16, 2016, people are resting on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, south-eastern France. Residents of the city of Nice on the French Riviera will not be allowed to walk on the beach on a sunny weekend after authorities decided to put in place a local and temporary lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. (AP Photo / Lionel Cironneau, file)

Residents of Nice on the French Riviera will be denied their walks along the beach on a sunny weekend, due to a temporary local lockdown imposed to curb the spike in COVID-19 infections.

From Friday evening, Nice and the surrounding coastal area will be closed on weekends for at least two weeks, in addition to a national curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The northern port of Dunkirk is subject to similar restrictions.

In both places, the number of infections has increased and hospitals are overwhelmed, some patients being transferred to other regions of France.

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, announced on Friday the ban on the beaches and the famous esplanade of the Promenade des Anglais, where many people usually walk by the sea, to ensure that the restrictions are fully respected.

“We absolutely must avoid too large gatherings, because the weekend should be summery and extremely attractive … Reason must prevail,” he said in a video message posted on social networks. Only essential stores will remain open, he added.

Nice this week reported a rate of nearly 800 COVID-19 infections per 100,000 people, nearly four times the national average.

Estrosi has repeatedly attributed the worsening situation in his town to the presence of “too many tourists” during the holiday season, listing the UK, Scandinavia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Arab Emirates. Russia, which have direct flights to Nice airport.

“We are now paying a very high price,” he said. Since then, France has banned almost all travelers outside the European Union and has enforced restrictions on those coming from inside the bloc.

The weekend lockdown also includes the nearby coastal towns of Cannes, Antibes and nearby Mediterranean beauty spots.

Residents will only be able to go out for essential needs such as groceries, medical appointments or urgent family matters. Exercising outdoors will be allowed for a maximum of one hour per day and up to 5 kilometers (3 miles) from home.

The 6 p.m. national curfew will apply during the week.


‘Uncontrollable’ France prepares for new COVID borders


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Quote: Côte d’Azur towns on lockdown as new infections skyrocket (2021, February 26) retrieved February 26, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-02-french-riviera-cities- lockdown-infections.html

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