French police will be deploying 100,000 police and gendarmes across the country this evening and throughout the night, in order to prevent large New Year’s celebrations, The Guardian reports.
In addition, a curfew is being imposed from eight o’clock this evening until the following morning.
Anyone found on the street during the curfew hours is liable to be stopped by police and asked to prove the necessity of his outing by providing a sworn declaration.
200 Metro stations will be closed from nine o’clock this evening, and Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has told police to break up gatherings and impose instant fines on organizers.
The extra security also aims at “halting the torching of cars that often takes place on the final night of the year.”
Patrols meanwhile are to carry out “appropriate identity checks” and search vehicles for “dangerous elements” that could be used against officers.
France has confirmed 2.6M COVID-19 cases, the fifth highest total in the world, and more than 64,000 deaths.
Like other European countries, France will see muted celebrations for New Year’s Eve amid the pandemic.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has ordered a visible security presence in city centres and flashpoint suburbs from 20:00, when the curfew begins.
Mr Darmanin is also encouraging shops to limit or stop the sale of flammable liquids in portable containers and takeaway alcoholic drinks.
He has also suggested that local authorities do not publicise incidents of cars set alight to “avoid any incidence of ‘competition'” between different areas.
In Paris half of the metro lines will be closed in the evening, while Mr Darmanin also asked for a wider public transport shutdown across the country to be considered.
Car burning has effectively become an annual event in French suburbs since riots in 2005 in Paris and elsewhere.
Last year a record 1,457 cars were torched across France on New Year’s Eve, according to media reports. The previous year’s figure was 1,290.