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Workers stop pruning vines when the light fades around 4:30 p.m., leaving them 90 minutes to come back from the cold, change into work clothes, get in their cars, and return home before coronavirus curfew. At 6 pm

A man pushes his bicycle along a row of closed restaurants in Montmartre, during the imposed curfew in Paris. (AP)

Forget socializing with friends after work, after-school clubs for kids, or late-night shopping beyond quick trips for the essentials.

Police on patrol demand valid reasons from people seen in the vicinity.

For those without them, the threat of mounting fines for curfew breakers makes life outside of the weekends more and more a job and not a game.

“At 6 pm, life stops,” said champagne producer Alexandre Prat.

Try to avoid the need for a third blockade at the national level that would further affect Of Europe France is the second largest economy and puts more jobs at risk;
Police patrol an isolated Eiffel Tower
Curfews come as France tries to defend itself against the need for a third national lockdown. (Veronique de Viguerie / Getty Images)

Large portions of eastern France, including most of its regions bordering Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, face movement restrictions from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The rest of France could quickly follow suit, losing an extra two hours of freedom that has been enough for residents to maintain a basic social life.

Until a couple of weeks ago, the night curfew did not come into force until 8 pm in the Prat region, the Marne.

Customers still stopped by to buy bottles of his family’s sparkling wines on the way home, he said. But when the cutoff time was brought forward to 6 p.m. to curb viral infections, the drinkers disappeared.

“Now we don’t have anyone,” Prat said.

People enjoy a glass of mulled wine on the street before curfew in Strasbourg, eastern France, before the curfew was enforced at 6pm. (AP)

The town where only retiree Jerome Brunault lives in the Burgundy wine country is also in one of the 6pm curfew zones.

The 67-year-old says his loneliness weighs more heavily without the opportunity to have a late night drink, snack and chat with friends, the so-called “apero” gatherings so beloved by the French that they were rushed but still feasible when the touch of remains. two hours later.

“With the 6pm curfew, we can no longer go see our friends for a drink,” Brunault said.

“Now I spend my days not talking to anyone except the baker and some people on the phone.”

The imposition of a 6 p.m. curfew across the country is one of the options the French government is considering in response to rising infections and the spread of a particularly contagious variant of the virus that has spread throughout the Kingdom. Kingdom where new virus infections and deaths have soared.

Prime Minister Jean Castex could announce an extension of the curfew on Thursday night, as well as other restrictions, to fight the virus in a country that has seen more than 69,000 confirmed deaths from viruses.

An earlier curfew combats the transmission of the virus “precisely because it serves to limit the social interactions that people can have at the end of the day, for example, in private homes,” said French government spokesman Gabriel Attal.

Police were enforcing the strict 8pm curfew in France on the Champs Elysees on New Year’s Eve. The curfew now begins two hours earlier. (Getty)

In France, critics of the 6:00 p.m. curfew M. They say the earlier hour actually squeezes people the most after work, when they huddle on public transportation, clog the roads, and shop for groceries in a narrow rush hour window before they get home.

Women’s rugby coach Felicie Guinot says negotiating rush hour traffic in Marseille has turned into a nightmare.

The southern French city is among the places where the most contagious variant of the virus has begun to break out.

“It’s a fight so everyone can be home by 6 pm,” Ms. Guinot said.

In historic Besançon, the fortified city that was the hometown of “Les Miserables” author Victor Hugo, the owner of the Jean-Charles Valley music store says the 6:00 pm deadline means people are already He doesn’t stop by after work to play the guitars and other instruments he sells. .

A fisherman staggers on his line before the curfew is applied in Marseille, southern France. (AP)

“People are completely demoralized,” Valley said.

In Dijon, the French city known for its spicy mustard, Celine Bourdin, a working mother of two, says her life has been reduced to “dropping the kids off at school and going to work, then coming home, helping the kids. kids with homework and making dinner. “

But even that cycle is better than a repeat of France’s lockdown at the start of the pandemic, when schools were also closed, says Ms Bourdin.

“If my kids don’t go to school, it means I can’t work anymore,” he said.

“It was terribly difficult being trapped in the house almost 24 hours a day.”

COVID-19 curfews in the rest of Europe

Nighttime curfews have become the norm in fringes across Europe, but the 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew in 25 regions of eastern France is the most restrictive of the 27 nations of the European Union.

Curfews in other countries start later and often end earlier.

The curfew in Italy runs from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., as does the curfew from Friday night to Sunday morning in Latvia.

The unusually empty Navigli area, a popular nightspot of restaurants and pubs that line the canals of Milan, Italy. (AP)

The French-speaking regions of Belgium have a curfew from 10pm to 6am, while in the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium, hours are from midnight to 5am

People leaving between 8:00 p.m. M. And 5:00 a. M. In Hungary they must be able to show the police written proof from their employers that they are working or commuting.

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There are no curfews in Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, Sweden, Poland or the Netherlands, although the Dutch government is considering whether imposing a curfew would delay new cases of COVID- 19.

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