In defiance of confinement, a clandestine party bringing together 500 people was evacuated on the night of Saturday to Sunday in Marseille (southern France), the most important evening reported in the country since the start of the coronavirus crisis.
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Other celebrations were reported this weekend in Strasbourg and Nantes.
The party in Marseille was evacuated calmly and verbalizations were drawn up for violation of containment, said the authorities of the Bouches-du-Rhône department.
France has been subject to a second confinement since October 31, which prohibits private and public gatherings, with the exception of weddings (6 people maximum), religious services and funerals. Participating in a clandestine party can lead to a fine of 135 euros.
Confinement will be replaced on December 15 by a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
In Strasbourg, a private party also gathered Saturday evening “a hundred people”, before being interrupted by the police, according to the police.
A procedure for endangering the life of others, punishable by one year of imprisonment and a fine of 15,000 euros, was opened against the organizer, who explained that he had broadcast the invitation on the social network Snapchat and being overwhelmed by the scale of the event.
Another evening bringing together a hundred people was reported in Nantes. But it was not evacuated because of a risk of drowning, the revelers having gathered in a technical room on the edge of the Loire.
In mid-November, 300 to 400 people had gathered in a pavilion in a residential area of Joinville-le-Pont, near Paris.
Despite the restrictive measures, the evolution of the epidemic is less favorable than expected in France. The number of new daily cases has averaged 10,400 over the past seven days, while the government relied on a figure of 5,000 for the lifting of containment, and health authorities evoke a “high risk” of increase in the next weeks.
The government therefore announced Thursday a lifting of the confinement less wide than what was envisaged, with an advanced curfew at 8 p.m. [au lieu de 21 h], including for the New Year, and the continued closure of cinemas, theaters and museums until at least January 7, to the chagrin of the cultural world.
The reopening of restaurants is planned for January 20, if the health situation allows.
The death toll linked to COVID-19 in France stands at 57,761 people.