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World News

French city of Lyon tightens COVID rules as ICU cases surge

FILE PHOTO: A medical worker, wearing protective suit and face mask, administers a nasal swab to a patient in a testing site for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nice, France, September 7, 2020. The sign reads "symptomatic persons". REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

PARIS (Reuters) - Tighter coronavirus restrictions will be imposed in the French city of Lyon from Tuesday to counter a sharp increase in new coronavirus cases and a surge in intensive care admissions, local authorities said.

Attendance at major outdoor events including festivals will be limited to 1,000 people from the 5,000 allowed now. The sale and consumption of alcohol outdoors will be prohibited from 8 p.m., and visits to nursing home residents restricted to two per week.

Bars and restaurants will be permitted to serve patrons only at tables; dancing and drinking standing at the bar will be prohibited. Rummage sales and outdoor raves will be banned.

The new rules for Lyon, France’s third largest city, follow similar measures in Marseille, Bordeaux and Nice as the coronavirus resurges across the country and the testing system buckles under heavy demand.

The incidence rate in Lyon had risen to 213 for every 100,000 inhabitants, the regional health authority leader said, while 25% of all intensive care beds in the Rhone department, which encompasses Lyon, were now occupied by COVID-19 sufferers.

“There is pressure on our hospitals,” Jean-Yves Grall said. The hospital system in the wider Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region was likely to trigger its crisis ‘White Plan’ in the near future, he added.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Richard Lough and Peter Graff

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