French police shut down huge party defying COVID-19 restrictions

French police shut down huge party defying COVID-19 restrictions”

Local authorities say the number of partygoers is "estimated at 2,500, coming from different French departments and from overseas".

France's Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin held a crisis meeting to discuss the event.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted that actions by police around the site at Lieuron, in Brittany, "led to the end of the illegal party without violence" on Saturday morning, 36 hours after it began.

The regional prefect, Emmanuel Berthier, said 800 people had been booked for failing to respect the curfew restrictions or wear masks or for participating in an illegal assembly.

By Friday evening, the sound of techno music could still be heard from the party venue, though police were preventing any newcomers from joining the rave, according to an AFP photographer.

By 10:15 am it was under the control of police, the local prefecture said.

Some 2,500 partygoers have attended an illegal New Year rave in northwestern France, violently clashing with police who failed to stop it and sparking concern the underground event could spread the coronavirus. - A wild party that began on December 31 evening in Lieuron, still gathered on January 1 around 2,500 participants " from different departments and from overseas ", according with a press release from the prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine.

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Other large parties took place across central Europe and were quickly broken up by authorities.

Only "a few hundred" revellers remained, the prefecture said, quoting an association that oversees the security risks of such events.

Local gendarmes tried to "prevent this event but faced fierce hostility from many partygoers" who set one of their cars of fire and threw bottles and stones. A police vehicle caught fire and three others were damaged.

This wild party took place as France is under the threat of a new outbreak of the new coronavirus epidemic that the authorities are trying to prevent with a reinforced curfew this weekend in 15 departments.

The aid group Techno+ distributed masks, anti-virus gel and health advice inside the party.

The number of contaminations was on Friday again around 20,000 in 24 hours, according to Public Health France, which reports 133 new deaths, bringing the total to almost 64,800.

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