Covid: Paris bar owners say they're confused by 'unclear' coronavirus curfew

Bar owners across Paris have said they are confused and concerned over a new curfew on Monday, which has been imposed by the government in a bid to curb the rising cases of Covid-19.

According to the guidelines issued last week, the capital's bistros and pubs must now close at 10pm, similar to the restrictions which are in place across England.

However, unlike England, restaurants are exempt from the new rules, which many business owners are describing as very unclear.

French president Emmanuel Macron is due to appear on national TV on Wednesday evening to answer questions on the Covid crisis and potentially tougher restrictions.

Bar owner Philippe Cotonnec said he would "play by the rules", although his customers can also have dinner at his beer house along the banks of the canal.

"They ask us to be informed of measures that change almost every week," Mr Cotonnec said, exasperated by the continuing uncertainty.

Mr Cotonnec said: "They ask us to make sure the sanitary protocols are all respected, even if my teams are not trained to police a crowd.

"We get very little support from our local authorities and police forces."

He added: "Beyond that, what's important is for our customers to enjoy good conditions and we've made it so we can welcome them in the best possible way."

"We can do 15 days - we don't have a choice anyways. It's mandatory. We're in a position where we want all this to get better for everyone, so we're going to play by the rules. We stay hopeful, but we can't be certain of anything."

Over the weekend, France's Health Minister urged the French to make a "small effort" to slow the spread of Covid, after health authorities reported 14,000 new infections Saturday amid a mass testing effort.

The country has reported a total of 31,727 virus-related deaths, one of Europe’s highest tolls.