France Mobilizes 100,000 Police To Stop New Year’s Eve Gatherings

Like other European countries, France will see muted celebrations for New Year’s Eve amid the pandemic.

France Mobilises 100,000 Police To Stop New Year's Eve Gatherings
Image via Imgur

Authorities in France have mobilized as many as 100,000 police and gendarmes on New Year’s eve to break up the celebrations and parties as well as enforce a curfew amidst a surge in coronavirus cases. The extra police security also aims to curb the torching of cars that usually happens at such events.

So far, French authorities have confirmed more than 2.5 million confirmed coronavirus infections with nearly 64,000 deaths. According to the data compiled by John Hopkins University, the nation remains the fifth worst-affected country in terms of total cases. Like many other neighboring European countries, French authorities plan to see muted celebrations as the year ends.

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From 8 PM, the curfew begins, and the French interior minister Gérald Darmanin said that there must be a visible security presence on the main streets and suburbs. Meanwhile, half of the public transport in Paris will be suspended by the evening, while the interior ministry has called for a nationwide public transport shutdown.

Even though countries around the world are recording a significant surge in the spread of the new virus variant, Macron’s government spokesperson said that in the current situation the officials are not considering a local lockdown for now. Since the pandemic outbreak first began in the country, the nation has had two national lockdowns, and bars, restaurants, and cultural attractions are likely to remain closed into January.

Darmanin had written to the local and state authorities about the exceptional mobilization of the police and said that it would amount to an “affirmation of state authority in every part of the national territory”. As soon as any underground parties are reported in the country, the officers would be sent to break them up and fine the organizers and participants. Moreover, police will carry out appropriate security checks and search the vehicles for dangerous elements that can be used against the security officials. The interior minister further urged the shopkeepers to stop or limit the sale of inflammable items and takeaway drinks in portable containers.

Since the riots in 2005 in Paris and other parts of the country, the annual car torching has become an event. According to the local media reports, last year as many as were torched across the country on new year’s eve. On the other hand, the British Premier also told the nation that the government would be enforcing a lockdown, starting from Thursday. The new restrictions are likely to affect more than 20 million people and expected to remain in place for three weeks.

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