France’s limited lockdown beset by glitches as cases rise

PARIS (AP) — Residents of Paris and several other regions of France spent their first weekend under a limited month-long lockdown. While the French government insisted the rules would be less strict than in the past, the measures have been criticised as messy.

A travel authorisation certificate posted online was so ridiculed by French media for its unnecessary complexity that the Interior Ministry scrapped it within hours. For now, simple proof of residence is required to stroll within a 10-kilometre radius.

The form the French government still obliges citizens to fill out to travel greater distances – up to 30 kilometres also was not accessible online because of a technical glitch.

A website on Sunday simply said, “Available soon.”

Under the new restrictions, nonessential shops were closed but people are not required to spend most of the day confined at home. The country reported 35,327 new confirmed cases on Saturday, when COVID-19 patients in intensive care units rose to 4,353, the most so far this year.