Despite the various health measures taken in France for several months already, the epidemiological situation is still worrying in France. In an attempt, as much as possible, to limit the spread of the coronavirus on his territory, President Macron convened a Defense and Security Council on Wednesday. This Thursday at 6 p.m., Prime Minister Jean Castex was in charge of presenting the various decisions taken during this Council.
“The virus continues to circulate actively throughout Europe,” Castex said straight away. “Faced with this situation, all countries have taken measures to contain the epidemic. France has made a double choice: not to wait to decide on an appropriate containment, which we did at the end of the month of October, as well as to lift our measures only partially and not prematurely, ”he continued.
Castex then pointed out that the holiday season had not allowed a “surge” in cases.
“Our situation nevertheless remains worrying and fragile, even if it is under control”, declared the Prime Minister.
If the situation is “fragile”, it is in particular because of the new variants identified on the French territory, affirmed Jean Castex, before Olivier Véran, the Minister of Health, details the characteristics of the British and South African variants . According to Olivier Véran, the new British variant is notably more contagious in children. Faced with these two new threats, “everything is in place on the national territory to prevent its spread”, says the Minister of Health.
Reinforced border controls
“This situation therefore leads us to take additional measures”, detailed Castex. “We are going to strengthen the measures to enter France”.
People who want to enter France from countries outside the EU will have to present a negative test before entering the territory and quarantine themselves for 7 days. They will also have to retest after isolation.
National curfew at 6 p.m.
In addition, the curfew will apply from 6 p.m. throughout the territory from this Saturday. “While the epidemic recovery was concentrated at the end of December on certain departments, viral circulation now concerns the entire territory”, explained Jean Castex. This 6 p.m. curfew was already in effect in 25 French departments. The very limited exemptions will be the same as those already applicable: return from work, etc.
All shops and places open to the public will be closed at 6 p.m.
“As I speak to you, the epidemic situation does not require that we impose a new containment”, then specified the Prime Minister. “But we have to prepare for all eventualities.”
Schools always open
Unlike other countries, France wants to do everything not to close its schools, said Jean Castex. Kindergartens and primary schools will remain open, as will the majority of middle schools. In high schools, teaching will always be in hybrid mode, half face-to-face and the other half remote.