Paris youth flout Covid-19 rules with illegal, secret parties

Paris, Apr 3 (efe-epa).- Young residents of Paris have turned to secret gatherings and parties to escape the pandemic, despite a surge in  coronavirus cases that has led to a third lockdown in a year.

The city’s tunnels and disused underground railway tracks have provided an ideal, albeit clandestine, stage for hundreds of young people — the vast majority not wearing masks — to dance the night away to electronic music at events that have been known to go on for days until police intervene to shut them down.

Outside the capital, chateaus in the suburbs provide another pricier alternative: 50 euros per person for entry, transport and accommodation as well as dinner, a 21-year-old woman tells Efe.

Attendees must produce a negative PCR or antibody test to be able to join these parties, which she takes part in “for the intention of socializing”.

Private parties are also held at rented apartments with 30 or 40 people, where anti-coronavirus protocols are largely ignored.

 “There are some dangerous behaviors, like drinking from the same bottle. The space is small, there is no ventilation and social distancing is not respected,” Carlos Reyes, a 23-year-old Mexican engineer living in Paris for four years tells Efe.

At one of those parties he attended, an infected guest transmitted the virus to five people. “They do not care much,” he says.

After a third, one-month lockdown was announced on Wednesday – to come into force on Sunday – French prime minister Jean Castex condemned the “irresponsibility” of those who do not respect the rules.

More strict measures will be taken against people who organize these kinds of secret parties, he added. EFE-EPA


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