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It's a chance to play in the snow as parts of Europe become a winter wonderland

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It's a chance to play in the snow as parts of Europe become a winter wonderland
Copyright  Lewis Joly/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
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As France went into its first day of a national curfew, the arrival of snow in central and northern parts of the country was a welcome distraction for those in cities unused to the wintry weather.

Parisians built snowmen and threw snowballs before getting ready to remain indoors from 6 pm to 6 am. All outdoor leisure activities must stop between this time, and there are fines for curfew-breakers.

Thirty-two departments in France, including the whole of Ile-de-France, have been placed on snow-ice orange vigilance alerts.

In Lille, residents enjoyed the snowfall that covered the city.

"People have come out to take pictures, it brings back a lot of cheerfulness I think. The Christmas spirit is coming back a bit so it's nice," said student, Margot Lanbin.

OLIVIER MORIN/AFP
People wearing protective face masks against the spread of the coronavirus, Covid-19, walk along a snowy path in the grounds of the Palais Royal in ParisOLIVIER MORIN/AFP

Paris wasn't the only capital to be visited with a dusting of snow.

Brussels was also turned into a winter wonderland with up to 10 cm falling across the whole of Belgium.

In southern Germany, snow blowers have been hard at work clearing roads before fresh snow falls.

In Obermaiselstein in the state of Bavaria, up to 1.5 metres of snow has piled up over the past few days and several centimetres more is expected, especially in the west of Germany.

Heavy snowfall had caused snow chaos in southern Germany in recent days.

Police in southwestern Germany said a 72-year-old woman died after a tree laden with snow fell on her while she was walking her dog near the Swiss border.

The woman’s son found her seriously injured and with hypothermia, but she later died in a hospital.