The Basics While the Covid-19 epidemic isn’t slowing on the territory, Emmanuel Macron could announce new restrictions next week. Generalized restriction? Closing schools? Compulsory telework? What options is the executive considering to slow the spread of the virus?
According to Jean Castex, France is in a “critical” epidemic situation. While a third wave hits Europe directly, the restrictive measures already in place in 16 departments, including Paris and its region, were extended to three more departments on Friday at midnight.
However, unlike other European countries, Paris has decided to keep schools open due to the risk of dropping out and mental health problems for disabled students. On Friday March 26th, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer announced that classes will now be closed as soon as a first patient appears in the newly configured departments. However, many voices are calling for facilities to be closed completely. The rest of the country has a curfew from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. while bars, restaurants and cultural venues are closed everywhere. However, the restrictions could tighten as soon as next week.
A defense council is due to be held on Wednesday evening to decide on possible stricter sanctions. “On television next Wednesday (Editor’s Note, March 31st), Emmanuel Macron could announce the closure of schools, which would lead to a massive shift of the French to teleworking. Everything will actually depend on the results of the start of the week,” revealed a close advisor from executive to Parisian. If the situation worsens in the coming days “and becomes homogeneous across the area, we shouldn’t rule out the idea of a Spring 2020-type containment,” added another source.
The numbers for the next crucial days
The government is therefore examining the option of general containment. An option that has been called for by many scientists in recent weeks “According to my models, it would be necessary to strictly limit at least six weeks, as in March 2020,” said Mircea Sofonea, lecturer in epidemiology at the University of Montpellier in Paris.
“These coming weeks will be difficult, we will take all necessary measures in due course and in my opinion there is no taboo,” said the President of the Republic on Thursday. So, general restrictions, school closings or general teleworking … The numbers for the next few days will be decisive in the government’s decision. According to the latest epidemiological point from Public Health France, 42,000 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported within 24 hours. There are currently 27,242 people in the hospital and the fateful number of 5,000 patients in the intensive care unit should be reached in the coming days. Intensive care patients rose 11% in a week, and 476 new patients were admitted to the ward on Friday. That is 24% more than last Friday.