A curfew is already in force in 25 departments from 6 pm to 6 am. In the other 77 departments, the French were allowed to leave the house until 8 p.m.
The draconian measure, according to the leader of the largest government party (La République en marche), Stanislas Guerini, is important to counter the ‘aperitif effect’. He is referring to social gatherings where drinks are held before dinner.
According to the government, the virus is spreading less in departments that already have a 12-hour curfew and where the population has to stay in all evening.
Conditions of war
Modern France is now for the first time using curfews to fight a disease. It was previously mainly used in wars, such as by the German occupiers (1940-1944) and in the Algerian War of Independence. One of the most notorious curfews was in 1961 by the prefect of Paris, who issued a curfew for “French Muslims from Algeria.”
Fifteen years ago there was a brief curfew for unaccompanied minors during riots in suburbs and in 2018 there was a curfew on the French island of Réunion due to riots.
In the Netherlands, opinions are divided on a curfew.