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Paris Quays deconfinement4.tif
Early in 2020, the world was struck by Covid 19, a new form of Coronavirus. This spread rapidly, to the extent of becoming a pandemic, and many countries, France included, imposed strict lockdown regulations to restrict movement in an attempt to control the spread of the virus, and save the health services. In France, lockdown commenced on 16th March and lasted 55 days to 11th May, when the restrictions started to be lifted. During this time shops, restaurants, theatres and cinemas were closed, and any form of transport was very severly restricted. Most of the population in France (as in other countries) was obliged to self isolate, aside from essential visits to foodshops and chemists, and walking exercise within one kilometer, for up to one hour, carrying an Attestation. In France,  parks and gardens were closed, as were the quays and the banks of Canal St Martin, each patrolled by police who were very effective in preventing access. However, when the restriction was lifted on 11th May, the inhabitants of Paris again flocked to the quays  and to the banks of Canal St Martin. in theory groups were restricted to no more than 10, with social distancing of at least one metre. When lockdown was first lifted, the police tried to enforce this, but soon gave up. Within a day or two, tens of thousands of people again thronged the quays beside the Seine and the banks of Canal St Martin, with no heed  to group size or social distancing. These photos illustrate the quays in the vicinity of Quai Saint Bernard, Paris, from 11th May 2020. Copyright photograph by Andrew Lyndon-Skeggs of ANLS Photography.