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Mayor Christian Estrosi asks tourists to stay away amid COVID-19 surge

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The mayor of Nice in southern France asked tourists to stay away on Sunday as the vacation destination grapples with a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases.

“We will be happy to receive lots of tourists this summer, once we win this battle, but it is better to have a period while we say ‘do not come here, this is not the moment’,’” Mayor Christian Estrosi said on France Info radio.

He called on the government to impose tougher restrictions in the Mediterranean city, such as a weekend lockdown, in order to deter tourists.

“We need strong measures that go beyond the nationwide 6 p.m. curfew, either tighter curfew, or a partial and time-specific lockdown. A weekend lockdown would make sense,” Estrosi said.

Nice has battled the country’s highest infection rate, with 740 new cases per week per 100,000 residents, according to local figures.

Estrosi said the influx of visitors who came over the holiday season contributed to the surging cases.

“The weather is nice, everybody rushes to come here. A weekend lockdown would put a stop to that, without halting economic activity in the city,” Estrosi said.

With Post wires

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