Coronavirus: Paris bans outdoor exercise between 10am and 7pm

Anthony Cuthbertson
A jogger with her dog in the Tuileries Garden in Paris amid the coronavirus lockdown in France, 23 March, 2020: Reuters

Paris has banned all outdoor exercise between 10am and 7pm in a tightening of containment measures aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus.

French authorities issued a statement warning anyone caught jogging or exercising in public from Wednesday during those hours will face fines of between €135 (£120) and €375 (£330).

“It is through responsibility, self-regulation and collective discipline that Parisians will best help health workers in their fight against the epidemic,” the joint statement from the city’s mayor department and police prefecture said.

The decision comes a day after French interior minister Christophe Castaner praised the public for being “among the best in the world at respecting quarantine measures”.

France has been on lockdown since 17 March, preventing anyone from leaving their home unless they are key workers or going out to buy food or medicine. Until now, people were also allowed to exercise individually as long as it was for less than an hour and within one kilometre of their home.

The initial 15-day lockdown was extended until 15 April and is expected to be extended again. Around 100,000 police have been mobilised across the country to enforce the rules, setting up checkpoints and stopping people in the street to check they have the required paperwork.

Anyone out in public must carry with them a form stating the purpose of their excursion, including the time and date. More than 8 million checks have been made over the last three weeks, resulting in nearly 480,000 fines nationwide.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted: “I know that it is difficult. Respecting containment measures is a necessity. It is important for the health of everyone.”

Deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire clarified that children would still be allowed out during the day, as well as dog walkers.

“Children must be able to go out a little during the day. The same goes for animals,” he tweeted. “The goal is to avoid late morning and afternoon peaks.”

There have been more than 98,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in France, resulting in close to 9,000 deaths. On Monday evening, France reported 833 coronavirus-related deaths – the highest daily total since the outbreak began.

French health minister Olivier Véran warned on Tuesday that the country had not yet reached the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are still in a worsening phase of the pandemic,” he told broadcaster BFM TV, adding that the lockdown would last as long as necessary.

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