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One of France’s largest cities uses drones to enforce the country’s lockdown

On Thursday, March 19th, a drone was seen flying over Nice’s City centre and main roads at around 2:30 pm, urging people to comply with containment measures. The speakers can be heard blaring messages like: “Travel is prohibited unless there are exceptional circumstances,” or “Please respect the safety distances.”

According to Le Parisien, the craft are owned by local company ‘Drone 06’, set-up by former police officer Sabri ben Hassen.  “This drone packs a punch. The speaker delivers the power of 100 decibels”, explains ben Hassen. Adding, “By comparison, an Airbus taking off produces 120 decibels.” Each drone weighs around 800 grams and measures 30 centimeters in diameter.

Local publication, Nice Matin, reports the devices are being trialed in Nice and will then go on to be tested in other regional towns after the City’s Mayor, Christian Estrosi, complained that residents were not taking the containment measures seriously, adding: “I am even considering curfew measures.” The use of drones comes with a view to aid law enforcement implement lockdown measures more stringently in days to come. Access to the region’s beaches will also be restricted.

France presently has 12,612 Covid-19 cases. To date 1,587 people have recovered and 450 died.

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