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Coronavirus

French Supermarkets Are Banned From Selling Flowers and Books

November 3, 2020

PARIS — French supermarkets are banned from selling flowers and books but they can sell baby care products, according to a decree published Tuesday.

It lays out new rules for what are considered “essential” items during a monthlong lockdown effort to slow coronavirus infections.

Supermarkets are sealing off aisles or taking products off shelves based on the new rules. Small businesses like florists and bookstores say they are being unfairly punished because they were forced to close.

Instead of allowing small businesses to reopen, the prime minister ordered big supermarkets to stop selling non-essential goods.

France is reporting tens of thousands of new infections per day. It recorded 410 virus-related deaths in hospital in a single day Monday, the highest one-day rise since April. Coronavirus patients occupy 73% of intensive care beds, a rising number that helped prompt the new lockdown.

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