MARSEILLE/PARIS - Seven people in the southern French port city of Marseille have tested positive for the new, more infectious variant of COVID-19 first found in Britain, local authorities announced on Sunday.
Mayor Benoit Payan said the seven were among 23 people identified as having come into contact with the new coronavirus variant, as well as a further 30 people from one residential building, who were undergoing tests.
"Right now, every minute counts in terms of preventing the spread of this English variant," Payan told reporters at a news conference.
In response to the discovery of the new variant in Marseille, the city imposed an earlier evening curfew, moving the start time to 6 p.m. from 8 p.m., until 6 a.m. the following morning.
In Paris the 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew hours remain unchanged for now, although the government has said it will not rule out stricter measures if the COVID situation worsens in France.