Enraged business owners have taken to the streets of the French capital to denounce the “ridiculous” curfew recently introduced by President Emmanuel Macron in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Carrying flares and chanting “Freedom!” people marched through Paris’ streets on Saturday, denouncing the recent restrictions imposed by the government to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The protesters argue that the tough new measures badly hurt the restaurant industry, which is already reeling from the lockdown imposed in the spring.

“I hope that the government stops these ridiculous measures that put people in the streets,” a restaurant owner told the Ruptly video agency.  

President Emmanuel Macron has imposed a four-week nighttime curfew in the capital, which began on Saturday. Residents are banned from going outside between 9pm and 6am, which also means that iconic Parisian cafes, bars and restaurants must close early. Similar curfews were put into place in several other major cities, including Lyon, Lille, Toulouse and Marseille.

Macron argued that the curfew will help to “put a brake on the spread of the virus.”

France had been gradually relaxing lockdown measures since May, as the situation with Covid-19 was improving. However, the infection rate has surged again in recent months, prompting authorities to start bringing back some restrictions.

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FILE PHOTO: A waiter wearing a mask stands in front of a café in Paris. June 2020. ©  Reuters/Christian Hartman
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