Parisians expressed their relief on Saturday (January 30) morning after French PM Jean Castex announced stronger curfew measures but no new lockdown on Friday night.
Castex said on Friday the coronavirus variants first detected in Britain and South Africa posed a dangerous risk to France but that a third nationwide lockdown could still be avoided.
Instead France would further tighten COVID-19 controls at its borders, reduce the number of people allowed into shopping malls and increase police controls against people breaking a night time curfew.
While the new curfew measures are stricter than those previously in place, a lockdown would have forced stores to close.
Castex said a new lockdown – the third for France – was still possible if the new measures failed to reduce the spread of the disease.
In the capital there was a cautious relief at avoiding another lockdown but one woman urged people to accept the new, stricter curfew.
“We have to stay rational. I call on French citizens to listen to the government, they aren’t putting those measures in place to annoy them,” she said.