PARIS (Reuters) – At lunchtime in a busy Paris restaurant area, hundreds of people are soaking up the sun, eating, chatting and smoking on cafe terraces and adamant that the coronavirus will not get in the way of their lives.
A view shows open restaurants in the Old city of Nice as France grapples with an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Even though Italy has gone into lockdown and neighboring Belgium and Spain have closed bars and cafes, the French government has kept cafes – and their vibrant social life – open, just asking people to keep a safe distance between tables.
In a televised address to the nation on Thursday, President Emmanuel Macron announced school closures and urged people to avoid close contact for fear of spreading the virus that has killed 61 people in France and infected almost 3,000.
On Friday, there was little sign the message had been heard.
“It’s a stressful atmosphere to talk about closing everything and…
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