All the alerts have jumped: infections are multiplying daily, resuscitation services are beginning to be saturated, sources of transmission are out of control, the number of deaths continues to increase. Faced with this scenario, all options were on the table. France has opted for the strictest measure: reconfine the whole country starting this Friday and until, at least, next December 1.
Unlike last March, “the schools will remain open, the work will continue, the nursing homes will be able to be visited. […] Like last spring, it will be possible to leave home to go to work or a medical appointment, to attend a relative, do your shopping or get some fresh air near your home & rdquor;, President Emmanuel Macron explained during his speech televised tonight. Of course, for all this, an attestation will be necessary to justify any displacement.
The government decision supposes a new bump for bars and restaurants, closed until further notice. Taking into account the economic consequences of a new generalized confinement, the French president has announced that “a special plan for the self-employed, traders and small and medium-sized companies & rdquor; it will be prepared by the Government. Employees of the affected sectors will be able to benefit from the partial unemployment system [por el que los trabajadores reciben hasta un 84 % de su salario neto de las arcas públicas].
Another sore point, the borders within the European zone will remain open, while, “except for exceptions & rdquor ;, the external borders will remain closed. In “ports and airports & rdquor; “Quick tests” will be mandatory “for all arrivals” and also “for international travel”.
The decision, taken after two Defense Councils devoted to the health crisis, aims to break “a second wave that could be tougher and deadlier than the first& rdquor ;, alerted the head of state. The violence of the second blow of the coronavirus is undeniable: in the last 24 hours, more than 33,400 new cases and 527 deaths were registered; in the last week, more than 14,000 hospitalizations were recorded, 2,000 of them in the UCIS. Since the beginning of the pandemic, France has accumulated more than a million infections and more than 35,000 deaths from covid-19. The figures could be even more overwhelming: the actual number of infections would amount to “100.000 diarios”, according to the estimates of the President of the Scientific Council, Francois Delfraissy.
An inevitable decision
“Avoid a new confinement at all costs& rdquor ;, was the government’s priority objective at the end of August, when the contagion curve began to rebound. Despite the threat of a new outbreak, France decided not to paralyze the activity again: “that would have too important economic repercussions,” explained Prime Minister Jean Castex at the time.
Much has rained since then. Neither the closure of bars and cafes in the regions most affected by the virus, nor the curfew imposed on more than 46 million French people have borne fruit. “If the efforts made have been useful, lucidity forces us to admit that they have not been enough […] The virus is circulating in France at a speed that even the most pessimistic predictions had not anticipated […] 58% of hospital beds are occupied and maximum numbers of infections are registered every day & rdquor;, Macron admitted during his speech.
Faced with such evidence, it was the same prime minister who, this very Tuesday, considered “indispensable […] new measures & rdquor; to curb the epidemic. “We must mobilize not only national representation, but our entire country & rdquor ;, he wrote on his Twitter account. An announcement that predicted new and extensive restrictions.
Confinement standards will be re-evaluated every “15 days & rdquor; depending on the “evolution of the epidemic”. “We will enact, if necessary, additional measures and we will also evaluate if we can ease some of the restrictions & rdquor ;, explained Macron, making special reference to the shops for Christmas.