France celebrated New Year under curfew

Such a sad New Year in France, most likely, has not happened since the occupation of the country by Nazi troops. And really, what fun can there be in the mid-December curfew imposed here due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic?

Earlier on December 31, in the evening, hundreds of thousands of townspeople and residents of the capital’s suburbs gathered on the Champs Elysees. Exactly at midnight, the sky above the Arc de Triomphe lit up with multicolored fireworks, and people saluted the arrival of the New Year with “shots” of champagne corks, and it flowed like a river to the delight of all those present.

The main thoroughfare of Paris has been frighteningly empty this year, save for the heavily reinforced police force that has brought it under tight control. Indeed, according to the terms of the curfew, no one without special permission for a limited number of reasons has the right to appear on the street after 20:00 and until 06:00 the next day (an exception was made only for Catholic Christmas from December 24 to 25). Moreover, the day before, referring to the epidemiological situation, when an average of 15 thousand people are infected with covid in France every day, Health Minister Olivier Veran generally said that “the best way to meet 2021 is not to celebrate it.” Thus, he made it unequivocally clear that the congestion of people, whether in the squares or at crowded parties, dramatically increases the spread of the malicious virus, which could subsequently lead to a new quarantine.

Hence the draconian measures aimed at keeping the people at home. Violators of the curfew, warned the head of the local Ministry of the Interior, Gerald Darmanen, will immediately be fined 135 euros, and no explanation or excuse will be taken into account.

All over the country in order to monitor compliance with the current restrictions , 100 thousand police officers were mobilized. Over 30 thousand firefighters and seven thousand military personnel involved in the anti-terrorist operation “Santinel” were allocated to help them.

However, the authorities did not dare to completely ban the French from celebrating the New Year, but recommended to do this in such a way that no more than six people gathered at the table. True, not everyone took this prescription into account, and in many houses this quantitative norm was not observed.

A curious detail: in a number of cities in the country, inflatable mattresses and sleeping bags have disappeared from store shelves. For fear of running into police officers on the morning of January 1, people bought them up so that, being away and tired, at least part of the night before the end of the curfew.

sadly, citizens were offered enchanting shows both on television and in social networks. The renowned “electronics engineer” composer Jean-Michel Jarre staged a virtual concert entitled “Welcome Beyond” in digitally created Notre Dame, Paris. In turn, disc jockey David Guetta chose the Louvre pyramid as the venue for his festive show. It started 15 minutes before midnight and was broadcast both on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.