The mayor of Nice in southern France had on Sunday called for a lockdown in the area to reduce the flow of tourists, as the area battles a sharp spike in coronavirus infections which may triple the national rate.
According to Covidtracker.fr., Nice has been the area in France with the highest Covid-19 infection rate, with 740 new cases per week per 100,000 residents.
“We need strong measures that go beyond the nationwide 6 p.m. curfew, either tighter curfew, or a partial and time-specific lockdown. A weekend lockdown would make sense,” Mayor Christian Estrosi said on franceinfo radio.
Health Minister Olivier Veran stated on Saturday that the French government would take a decision this weekend on tightening virus control measures in the Mediterranean city.
The government had imposed curfew in some cities, and closed restaurants in Marseille before ordering a second national lockdown in November, but taken such actions at the regional level has been kicked against by local politicians and businesses.
Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on LCI television that government have not rule out local lockdowns
He continued that the records in new cases was not good in recent days, and that there was no reason for loosening the curfew.
Estrosi in another statement said: “The weather is nice, everybody rushes to come here. A weekend lockdown would put a stop to that, without halting economic activity in the city.”
He added: “infection rates had leapt due to the massive inflow of tourists over the Christmas holiday. International flights to the city had jumped from 20 a day before Christmas to 120 over the holiday – all this without people having virus tests in their country of origin or on arrival.”
Estrosi continued that the city will be glad to welcome tourists once the pandemic is over.
He expressed: “We will be happy to receive lots of tourists this summer, once we win this battle, but it is better to have a period while we say ‘do not come here, this is not the moment’. Protecting the people of Nice is my priority.”