Paris Closes Bars and Enacts New Restrictions As 2nd Wave of Coronavirus Sweeps City

Paris bar

Paris is under its highest COVID-19 alert again, forcing bars to close for at least two weeks as the French capital manages its second wave of cases. 

Starting Tuesday, bars will remain closed for two weeks and restaurants will be forced to abide by stricter health and safety protocol. 

Restaurants must agree to strict new health procedures, including taking contact information from customers and closing by 10 p.m. In addition to bars, public places like gyms, pools, and dance halls must temporarily close. Employees are encouraged “now more than ever” to work from home when possible. 

"These are braking measures because the epidemic is moving too fast," Paris police chief Didier Lallement said during a press conference on Monday, The BBC reported. “We have to slow it down so that our health system is not overwhelmed.”

France’s maximum alert level is put into place when a region’s infection rate exceeds 250 cases per 100,000 people and at least 30 percent of intensive care beds are on reserve for COVID-19, Reuters reported. 

Last week, restaurants and bars in Marseille, France’s second-largest city, were ordered to close for two weeks to pause the spread of COVID-19. Restaurants are being permitted to reopen under the same new strict protocol being enacted in Paris. Public venues like museums, theatres, and cinemas must also close if they do not comply with the new health protection policies. 

On Sunday, France reported a total of 12,565 new coronavirus cases. According to the French health ministry, there are 429 patients currently in the hospital for COVID-19 treatment in Paris. 

While the government is trying to avoid a complete lockdown like what happened earlier this year, they are implementing stricter measures in cities where the virus is circulating. 

The French capital has responded to new social distancing measures in unique ways, like hosting open-air cinema nights on its canals and gradually reopening major attractions like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. When in a new city, she's usually out to discover under-the-radar art, culture, and secondhand stores. No matter her location, you can find her on Twitter, on Instagram or at

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