As planned, the Prime Minister and the Health minister have announced, yesterday afternoon, a tougher response to the virus in the most affected areas, notably Île-de-France, Hauts-de-France and part of Normandy.
We are quite lucky, in a certain, way in our Occitanie Region because none of the announced tightened rules apply to us. We benefit however from the National Curfew’s new timing at 7pm (instead of 6pm) starting this Saturday (tomorrow).
So what was said? The “third wave” is here. Characterised by the appearance of variants, the epidemic resurgence of the last few weeks has forced the executive to tighten up even further its measures to combat Covid-19, while maintaining a “territorial approach”.
► New confinement for some regions
While a reconfinement limited to the weekend was long favoured, the executive has finally decided to put the Île-de-France, Hauts-de-France, Alpes-Maritimes, Eure and Seine-Maritime under a bell for the whole week.
Only “essential” shops and schools will remain open, but high schools will be switched to “half capacity”.
This measure comes into force from midnight on Friday and will be applied for at least a month. In total, some 21 million French people are affected, i.e. almost a third of the population.
► Schools stay open, high schools half full, universities status quo
“Preserving our children’s education as much as possible. France is the only country in Europe that is maintaining a classroom system for nursery, primary and secondary schools, where physical and sports education (PSE) will be able to resume “normally”. High schools, “more than two-thirds of which are already in half-size”, will all adopt this system. As for the universities, the current system will remain unchanged.
► Closure of shops that are not “of first necessity”
In order to enforce the containment, only the so-called “first necessity” shops will remain open. These are mainly food and DIY shops, but also record shops and bookshops, which were added to this list by a government decree issued at the beginning of March.
► Outdoor activities allowed in confined areas
“Brake, but do not lock up. (…) Get some fresh air, go for a walk, do some sport”. In this logic, outdoor activities will be authorised, unlike previous confinements which only allowed short trips for walking or running. “We know today that we contaminate ourselves infinitely less when we walk in the open air than when we are grouped together, without masks, indoors,” declared Jean Castex.
► Travel within a 10km radius with a certificate, without time limit
A considerable relaxation. In place of the “1 hour, 1 kilometre” rule, which had prevailed in previous confinements, the executive has this time decided to authorise travel within a 10 kilometre radius, with no time limit. However, a certificate is still required to justify each trip, and the reasons remain unchanged.
► Ban on inter-regional travel
To preserve as much as possible the spared territories. To prevent the virus from spreading in the departments where it is still relatively uncommon, inter-regional travel will once again be prohibited. It will therefore not be possible to leave a “red” zone to go to a “green” zone, except for imperative or professional reasons.
And most importantly
► Resumption of vaccination with AstraZeneca from this afternoon (Friday)
The European green light has been given. The vaccination campaign with AstraZeneca can be resumed on Friday. Currently, people aged 50 to 74 with risk factors and all those over 75 can be vaccinated.
Wishing you a nice