France puts Paris back in lockdown mode for next four weeks beginning Friday night

PARIS — The French government backed off Thursday from ordering a tough lockdown for Paris and several other regions despite an increasingly alarming situation at hospitals with a rise in the numbers of COVID-19 patients. Instead, the prime minister announced a patchwork of new restrictions while reducing the national curfew by one hour.

Getting large doses of fresh air is being encouraged, meaning that people living in the Paris region and in the north of the country can walk as long as they like in a day, but within a 10-kilometer (6-mile) radius of their homes and with a paper authorizing the stroll.

Stores, however, will feel the pinch with all non-essential outlets closing down, though bookstores won’t be shuttered. And travel between regions is forbidden without a compelling reason.

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