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France adds COVID-19 restrictions as Europeans protest rules

France is entering a new phase of onerous COVID-19 restrictions, even as anti-lockdown protests erupt across Europe.

As of Friday night, residents of Paris and the north of France must obtain authorization to walk more than 6 miles from their home; non-essential stores are closed; and travel between regions is forbidden “without a compelling reason,” according to reports.

“The situation is deteriorating,” Prime Minister Jean Castex said, referring to rising COVID-19 infection rates.

But the French government backed off more restrictive measures first offered Thursday, perhaps in response to growing outrage with lockdowns in Europe.

Austria, England, Germany, Finland, Romania and Switzerland have all witnessed protests in recent days.

Kassel, Germany saw 20,000 people protesting Saturday, while 1,800 police officers awaited a potential protest in Berlin, The Associated Press reported. Up to 10,000 people protested and 13 were arrested in London on Saturday, according to Reuters.


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