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Over Half of French Flout New Lockdown Rules: Survey

Over half of the French have broken the rules governing the second coronavirus lockdown, a survey showed Thursday, half-way through the new confinement period.

PARIS (AFP) — Over half of the French have broken the rules governing the second coronavirus lockdown, a survey showed Thursday, halfway through the new confinement period.

The Ifop survey confirmed that the French are taking the second nationwide shutdown far less seriously than the first in March-April.

It showed that 60% had flouted the rules at least once, either by giving a false reason for going out on their self-signed permission slip or by meeting up with family and friends.

The figure was far higher than during the first lockdown when the proportion of rule-breakers stood at under 40% during the first six weeks.

The most common transgression (24% of respondents) was giving a false reason for going out on the permission slips that all citizens are required to download and fill out before leaving home.

Others flouted the rules by having family around to visit or went to visit family (24%) or met up with friends (20%).

Nine percent of respondents said they ventured out to meet up with a current or prospective sexual partner, 3 percentage points more than during the first confinement period.

The survey also confirmed that the second lockdown, coming in the heart of winter, is taking a greater toll on public morale than the first.

Over 1 in 4 — 28% — of those questioned said they were feeling blue, compared with 1 in 5 in March-April.

France, which has lost over 42,000 people to Covid-19, went back into lockdown on October 30 to try to tame a second wave of infections that experts warn could be deadlier than the first.

On Monday, the country recorded 551 deaths from the virus, the highest daily figures since the first wave in March and April.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Jean Castex will address reporters about the timid progress made on slowing the spread of virus in the past two weeks.

Small traders fighting for survival had been hoping he would use the occasion to announce that all shops selling non-essential items, such as books and flowers, could reopen.

But Health Minister Olivier Veran warned it was "too soon" to begin relaxing the restrictions.

"It's certainly not the moment to drop our guard," Castex told Le Monde newspaper.

© Agence France-Presse

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