France‘s lockdown will be eased on December 15 – but bars and restaurants will have to remain closed throughout the holiday period. Meanwhile, the French President has faced a significant backlash after he warned people against going skiing in Switzerland and said France would apply restrictions to prevent the public from heading to resorts.
An announcement carried on the party’s website urged people to assemble at 2.30pm in front of the Ministry of Health at the intersection of Avenue Duquesne and Avenue de Segur.
Much like the anti-lockdown protests in London at the weekend which resulted in the arrests of more than 150 people, the demonstration would contravene current rules in force in metropolitan areas of France.
At present, Parisians are precluded from leaving their homes except for specific reasons, such as going to work and to seek medical treatment.
In a video uploaded to its website Les Patriotes President Florian Philippot, a former vice-president of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, explained his reasons for organising the event.
MEP Mr Philippot, 39, whose party is strongly eurosceptic and wants France to follow in the UK’s footsteps by quitting the EU, said: “Fighting against corona madness and fighting for Frexit are part of the same struggle.
“To fight for one’s freedom – our individual freedom as men and women to fight for our great collective liberty and for the liberty of France, the sovereignty of the people and of the nation – form the same struggle.
Mr Philippot predicted the weekend protests would be the “largest assembly there has ever been in France against corona madness restrictions”.
Simultaneous demonstrations will take place in Marseille and Lyons.
Similar protests were staged in Paris and elsewhere in France last weekend.
At the time, in a reference to the French Health Minister, Mr Philippot tweeted: “Rally against Corona madness, for Freedom, for work, for France, right outside the windows of Olivier Veran tonight in Paris! And in 12 cities simultaneously!
“Bravo to the Patriots!”
Les Patriotes supporter Antoine Renault-Zielinski tweeted: “Against #Coronamadness, for our individual freedoms, for professionals who cannot yet work, let’s continue to demonstrate!”
Speaking on November 24, Mr Macron said the situation would be reviewed on January 20, and if infections remained low, bars and restaurants would at that point be permitted to reopen.
Universities would also be able to accept students again, he said.
However, he warned if the situation had worsened by then he would consider options to prevent a third wave.
He added: “We must do everything to avoid a third wave, do everything to avoid a third lockdown.”
(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega)