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Strasbourg cancels Christmas market due to virus concerns



France’s most popular Christmas market, in the eastern city of Strasbourg, was cancelled on Thursday due to the resurgence of the coronavirus in the area.

City authorities said that the health situation was deteriorating in Strasbourg and an evening curfew was likely to come into force soon.

The situation across the Rhine in western Germany, home to many of the market’s visitors, was also worrying and authorities had restricted cross-border movement, they said in a statement.

Mayor Jeanne Barseghian said that while the market’s 300 stalls would not be in place this year, parades, concerts and other events were still planned throughout December.

France has seen record numbers of coronavirus infections in recent weeks, as the death toll and the number of people treated in hospitals are also rising again in what authorities say is a second wave of the pandemic.

Prime Minister Jean Castex was expected to extend curfew measures, currently in force in Paris and eight other big cities, to additional areas later.

France was one of the European countries worst hit by the first wave of the pandemic, having recorded more than 34,000 deaths in total so far.

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