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French police increase COVID lockdown checks in Paris

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French police stepped up controls in Paris over the weekend to ensure residents were complying with strict lockdown rules imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, amid signs that some people were breaching them.

France has registered 27,228 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and a further 302 deaths from the disease in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed on Sunday, although there were signs of a fall in the rate of new cases.

France has now recorded 1,981,827 confirmed COVID-19 cases in all, while 44,548 people have died from the virus – the seventh-highest death toll in the world.

Prime Minister Jean Castex has said people are not abiding by the rules as strictly as during the first lockdown back in the spring.

Police had to break up an illegal party hosting up to 400 people at Joinville-Le-Pont near Paris early on Saturday.

Under the lockdown, in force since the end of October, people must stay indoors apart from trips to buy food or other essential goods, or for a brief hour of exercise. They must also carry signed documents to justify why they are outside.

Police were checking motorists travelling through the Bois de Boulogne in western Paris to make sure they had the necessary signed documents and were wearing masks, as required by the law.

A French landscape gardener who gave his name as Jules said he had noticed a pick-up in police controls.

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