France orders beach curfew at top Brittany resort after virus surge

French officials have ordered nighttime curfews for beaches in the Brittany resort of Quiberon on the Atlantic coast, after a fast-spreading COVID-19 cluster emerged last week.

Parks and gardens will also be closed nightly in a bid to prevent large gatherings of young people in particular, the government’s top official for the region said late Sunday.

Officials nationwide are on high alert as people travel the country for summer holidays, heightening the risks of new outbreaks as observance of social distancing rules wanes.

Last week, face masks became mandatory in all enclosed public spaces, and the government warned that localised lockdowns might again be required.

On Saturday, testing for COVID-19 was made free without a prescription across France.

Quiberon, a picturesque peninsula popular with families, recorded its first COVID-19 case last Tuesday, and already the total has surged to 54.

Its mayor quickly moved to require face masks in open-air markets and on busy streets.

“Nonetheless, in light of the fast-evolving situation, the mayor of Quiberon issued a decree to close beaches, parks and public gardens from 9:00 pm to 7:00 am,” the government official said in a statement.

“The state services urge the entire population on Quiberon to sharply reduce their social contacts and respect preventive measures,” the statement said.

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