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France imposes nightly curfew, delays reopening cultural venues

France imposes nightly curfew, delays reopening cultural venues
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France has announced that the country will implement a new wave of nightly curfews and will delay the reopening of cultural venues such as bars, movie theaters, and museums as coronavirus infection rates have not slowed.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex noted that COVID-19 infection rates have not yet declined as the government hoped when it originally issued lockdown orders in October.

"We aren't yet at the end of this second wave, and we won't reach the objectives we had set for 15 December," Castex said during a press conference, according to the BBC. "We can't let down our guard. We have to stay focused, and find our way through the next few weeks with lots of vigilance."

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The European nation will lift a nationwide stay-at-home order beginning Dec. 15; however, the new curfew will be implemented from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. It will remain in place on New Year's Eve as well to help mitigate the spread of the virus during the holiday, the BBC reported.

Under the extended restrictions, sports venues, museums and theaters will be closed for an additional three weeks. Bars and restaurants are set to remain closed through Jan. 20, according to BBC.

Castex also stated that the country will limit those celebrating Christmas to only six adults together and the curfew will be waived on Christmas Eve. People will also be permitted to travel across the country.

France has experienced over 2.3 million coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic and has seen a total of 56,940 deaths related to the virus, according to The New York Times.