“We run the risk of reaching a critical situation in some of the most affected regions & rdquor ;, warned the Minister of Health, Oliver Véran, this Wednesday during his weekly conference on the evolution of the epidemic in France. Paris, where the incidence rate is 204 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, is now an area of “Enhanced alert & rdquor;. Marseille, where the “situation is extremely tense & rdquor ;, becomes a zone of “High alert & rdquor;. The new labels are accompanied by new restrictions to curb the circulation of the virus.
Paris, but also Bordeaux, Lyon, Nice, Lille, Toulouse, Saint-Etienne, Rennes, Rouen, Grenoble and Montpellier, where “the virus circulates very quickly, even among the weakest & rdquor; and whose impact “already affects the health system & rdquor ;, they will have to apply the new package of measures from Saturday. Among them, the prohibition of local or student parties and gatherings of more than 1,000 people. Meetings in public spaces -beaches, parks or gardens- should be limited to a maximum of ten people.
Bars and restaurants in the spotlight
The most controversial measure is undoubtedly the new closing hours for bars. After an agreement between the different prefectures and local deputies, each region will dictate specific hours, although, according to the Minister of Health, all the bars in the affected regions must close their doors before 22.00. The measure will take effect next Monday.
With more than 30% of resuscitation places occupied by covid-19 patients, and with an incidence rate of more than 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants among the general population and more than 100 among the elderly, Marseille and Guadeloupe receive the label “Temporary & rdquor; -which should not exceed two weeks- of zone of “maximum alert & rdquor;.
In both regions, bars and restaurants will be forced to close their doors from Saturday. The establishments destined to receive the public, theaters, cinemas or museums, must also close down unless they currently have a strict sanitary protocol. Given the economic counterparts linked to the new protocol, the Minister of Health assured that the companies will receive “the support & rdquor; of the government.
Given the worrying evolution of the epidemic, Oliver Véran invited the retirement homes to implement “reinforced protection measures & rdquor ;, among them the organization of visits with pre-established hours and the monitoring of the respect of the barrier gestures.
He telecommuting, another of the Executive’s star recommendations, continues to form part of the health strategy, especially for the “most vulnerable & rdquor; workers.