French virus curfew produces eerie quiet on streets of Paris

Champs-Elysees avenue is empty during curfew in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

The streets of Paris and eight other French cities were deserted on Saturday night on the first day of the government-imposed 9 p.m. curfew that is set to last at least four weeks

PARIS (AP) — The streets of Paris and eight other French cities were deserted on Saturday night on the first day of the government-imposed 9 p.m. curfew that is scheduled to last for at least four weeks.

The measure was announced by French President Emmanuel Macron to curb the resurgent coronavirus as new infections peaked to over 30,000 a day. Macron said the curfews were needed to stop local hospitals from becoming overrun.

In France, nearly 20 million people are covered by the curfew and eerily deserted scenes were observed in Marseille, Lyon, Lille and Toulouse as well. The curfew runs until 6 a.m. daily. The country is deploying 12,000 extra police officers to enforce the new rules.

Many bar and restaurant owners have bristled at the order. An earlier months-long lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus in the spring devastated the sector.

“I have the right to question the government’s approach. I think it’s a catastrophic measure for the industry,” said Xavier Denamur, who owns Les Philosophes and several other bistros in Paris’s chic Le Marais district.

Denamur said the curfew should not start before 11 p.m.

“At least that would not destroy us,” he said. “There’s no evidence that this difference of a couple of hours will have any effect on the virus circulating.”

France has seen over 33,300 confirmed deaths in the pandemic, the fourth-highest death toll in Europe.

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A homeless woman looks for food in the empty center of Lyon, central France, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. France is deploying 12,000 police officers to enforce a new curfew that came into effect Friday night for the next month to slow the virus spread, and will spend another 1 billion euros to help businesses hit by the new restrictions. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Credit: Laurent Cipriani

Credit: Laurent Cipriani

Champs-Elysees avenue is almost empty during curfew in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

Rivoli street is empty during curfew in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

Rivoli street is empty during curfew in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

Madeleine square is empty during curfew in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

A man rides a motorbike as he passes by the National Assembly during curfew in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

Vendome square is empty during curfew in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

Vendome square is empty during curfew in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

Concorde square is empty during curfew in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

The subway is empty of passengers during curfew in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

Rivoli street is empty during curfew in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

People walk in the empty center of Lyon, central France, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. France is deploying 12,000 police officers to enforce a new curfew that came into effect Friday night for the next month to slow the virus spread, and will spend another 1 billion euros to help businesses hit by the new restrictions. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Credit: Laurent Cipriani

Credit: Laurent Cipriani

A woman rides a bike as she passes by the Louvre museum during curfew in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

A waiter closes a bar terrace in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

A bar terrace is closed to meet the curfew in Paris, Saturday Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

People enjoy drinks at a bar terrace in Marseille, southern France, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. France is deploying 12,000 police officers to enforce a new curfew that came into effect Friday night for the next month to slow the virus spread, and will spend another 1 billion euros to help businesses hit by the new restrictions. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Credit: Daniel Cole

Credit: Daniel Cole

Waiters close a bar terrace in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

Police patrol in the streets as the curfew starts in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

A waiter closes a bar terrace in Paris, Saturday Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

A waiter checks the final revenue as he closes a bar terrace in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

Military patrol near the Louvre museum during curfew in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

A man walks in the empty center of Lyon, central France, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. France is deploying 12,000 police officers to enforce a new curfew that came into effect Friday night for the next month to slow the virus spread, and will spend another 1 billion euros to help businesses hit by the new restrictions. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Credit: Laurent Cipriani

Credit: Laurent Cipriani

A man rides a bike on Rivoli street during curfew in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new coronavirus infections. The monthlong curfew came into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Credit: Lewis Joly

Credit: Lewis Joly

Tables sit empty in Marseille, southern France, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. France is deploying 12,000 police officers to enforce a new curfew that came into effect Friday night for the next month to slow the virus spread, and will spend another 1 billion euros to help businesses hit by the new restrictions. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Credit: Daniel Cole

Credit: Daniel Cole

The empty center of Lyon, central France, is seen after the start of the curfew, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. France is deploying 12,000 police officers to enforce a new curfew that came into effect Friday night for the next month to slow the virus spread, and will spend another 1 billion euros to help businesses hit by the new restrictions. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Credit: Laurent Cipriani

Credit: Laurent Cipriani

A man walks through Marseille's Old Port after curfew, in southern France, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. France is deploying 12,000 police officers to enforce a new curfew that came into effect Friday night for the next month to slow the virus spread, and will spend another 1 billion euros to help businesses hit by the new restrictions. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Credit: Daniel Cole

Credit: Daniel Cole

A closed restaurant is pictured after the start of the curfew in the empty center of Lyon, central France, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. France is deploying 12,000 police officers to enforce a new curfew that came into effect Friday night for the next month to slow the virus spread, and will spend another 1 billion euros to help businesses hit by the new restrictions. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Credit: Laurent Cipriani

Credit: Laurent Cipriani

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