France prepares for new lockdown due to growth in coronavirus cases

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With 52,000 cases in a single day, President Emmanuel Macron and his ministers analyze new measures. They would be announced on Thursday.

France prepares for a new confinement for the weekend before the explosion of the coronavirus, which is growing exponentially. With 52,000 cases in a single day, three possibilities of confinement are analyzed by President Emmanuel Macron and his ministers. They would be announced on Thursday.

Under enormous pressure in the face of a virus over which control is lost and in the face of the real possibility of seeing saturated hospitals, the government studies three scenarios to apply. A total confinement, a local confinement, in areas where the virus explodes, and adapted local reconfinements. They include an extended curfew, which could start at seven in the afternoon, or a lockdown for the weekend.

A discussion that took place during a Monday lunch between the head of state and his prime minister, Jean Castex. This Tuesday the president will head two defense councils, one small and one expanded, to decide which final restrictive measures to apply.

The other questions are if schools have to be closed after the Toussaint holidays, which end on the first weekend of November and if telework should be mandatory for all French people or only where the virus explodes.

Since Friday, the president has warned the French that the situation is hardening. “There is no other option. Human lives must be preserved ”, alerted. He canceled his trip this Tuesday to Creusot in Saone and Loire to dedicate himself to managing the health crisis.

Faced with the 52,000 daily cases, the head of state pays particular attention to three indicators: the incidence rate (number of infected per 100,000 inhabitants), the rate of positives in the tests and the occupancy rate in intensive care rooms .

“At this moment, all three explode”, recognized a presidential advisor.

Prime Minister Jean Castex consulted the future measures with the leaders of the opposition, with those of the National Assembly and the Chamber of Senators plus unionists and businessmen.

The main ministers directly involved in the health crisis will be received on Wednesday, at the Matignon Palace, to be informed by the premier of what has been resolved. The measures would be announced Thursday.

Reconfinement seems inevitable against these contagion figures. On this occasion the universities would close to avoid contamination and more infection centers. But not schools and lyceums.

One hypothesis that the government favors is to extend the curfew between 7 in the afternoon to 6 in the morning and confine the weekend, plus the forced obligation of teleworking.

A more extreme possibility is not excluded: local confinements of 2 to 4 weeks in the most contaminated areas. One thing is certain: “It will not be the lockdown in March.”

“There is an absolute urgency. If we do not react, we will be overwhelmed, ”they worry around President Macron.

A certainty that was reconfirmed, after his visit to the Nord Hospital in Marseille, where the hospital staff warned him “the seriousness of the situation”.

The virus is back three times stronger than in March and April. They believed that the virus would go away at the beginning of the summer and France relaxed with the holidays. The return was fatal.

The intention is to keep the economy reopened but limit social contacts. That week end confinement would leave them a margin of action for the month of November, which Prime Minister Castex has already described as “It will be terrifying.”


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