Coronavirus: France bans gatherings and frowns on kissing amid coronavirus outbreak

France is placing ban on all indoor public gatherings of more than 5000 and recommending people never again greet each other with kisses in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Health Minister Olivier Veran declared the cancellation of large gatherings in confined spaces after special government meetings on the pestilence on Saturday.

Having recently suggested that people abstain from shaking hands, the minister said they should likewise curtail “la bise”, the custom in France and somewhere else in Europe of greeting people with kisses, or air kisses, on the cheeks.

The thighten restrictions on public gathering had an immediate impact. A major four-day trade shoe in Cannes for property investors was postponed from March to June.

A half-marathon that was planned for Sunday in Paris was likewise cancelled, just like a carnival in the Alpine town of Annecy, Mr Veran declared.

He said other outdoor events and social events that may prompt a mixing of people from infected areas could likewise be cancelled.

Public gatherings are being banned totally in the Oise area north of Paris that has seen a cluster of cases, and in a town in the lower regions of the Alps that has also seen infections, he stated

As of Saturday, France had registered a total of 73 people infected with the coronavirus, up from 57 on Friday.