France’s giant curfew-busting party is over after two nights


French authorities say five people have been detained by police in the investigation over the underground party that drew at least 2,500 people in western France despite a curfew amid the coronavirus pandemic

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. He said a judicial investigation has been opened to identify and prosecute organizers.

Prefect Emmanuel Berthier, head of the local state authority, said in a news conference Saturday that police officers issued at least 1,200 fines, including 800 under virus-related rules for not respecting the curfew, not wearing a mask and illegally taking part in a gathering.

Hundreds of people were also fined for using illicit drugs and sound equipment and power generators were confiscated, Berthier said.

Video images showed lines of ravers’ trucks and cars leaving on Saturday morning.

The party took place despite France’s nationwide night-time curfew, which seeks to dissuade people from gathering during the pandemic.

The Regional Health Agency of Brittany warned that party-goers had a high risk of spreading the virus and urged participants to self-isolate for a week and get a test in seven days.

France has reported more than 64,000 virus-related deaths.

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