Notre Dame restoration halted due to coronavirus

Notre Dame restoration halted due to coronavirus
© Getty Images

Workers who are part of the efforts to restore Paris's Notre Dame cathedral have reportedly been sent home as France fights to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the project, which follows the devastating fire that nearly destroyed the historic landmark exactly one year ago, has been halted as French authorities ask most nonessential workers to stay home.

Around 250 tons of scaffolding destroyed by the fire last year remain around the cathedral, further endangering it, according to the AP. Restoration began in September, with workers focusing on protecting the remaining parts of the cathedral from damage.

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Officials reportedly plan to ring the church's bell at 8 p.m. on Wednesday in support for first responders in the city dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

France has confirmed more than 103,000 coronavirus cases within its borders, and 15,000 deaths have been reported. On Monday, President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronFrance to require coronavirus tests for those entering the country from US EU leaders reach trillion deal on coronavirus recovery package Fire engulfs Nantes Cathedral in France, prompting an arson investigation MORE extended a nationwide lockdown over the virus to May 11.

“When will we be able to return to a normal life? I would love to be able to answer you. But to be frank, I have to humbly tell you we don’t have definitive answers,” Macron said in a televised address.