France lifts traffic restrictions

IAKI GIL

Correspondent

Paris

Updated on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 – 15:37

The prohibition to travel more than 10 km from home will end on May 3, schoolchildren return to school and the curfew could be relaxed

A man walks through Nice.ERIC GAILLARDREUTERSCovid-19 France exceeds 100,000 deaths from coronavirus

It is not the end of the tunnel. But, for the first time, you see some light. France it is ready to reopen. The first thing, the only thing already decided, is the end of the traffic restrictions that now prevent every citizen from moving beyond 10 km from their home, except for compelling and duly justified reasons. The ban will be lifted on Monday, May 3.

This has been decided by the Government, gathered around the president, Emmanuel Macron, like every Wednesday. The head of state will return to address the nation when the calendar for the progressive return to normality is fully defined.

Macron appeared on March 31 to announce the country’s confinement for four weeks, from April 3 to May 2. In addition to traffic restrictions, schools were closed taking advantage of the Easter holidays. The children in nursery and primary school will return to their classrooms next Monday. The older ones, a week later.

So far the certainties. The rest are still pending a final decision. For example, him curfew: it will be maintained although it will surely soften. It now runs from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Before or after the Ascension Bridge (May 13-16), museums, cultural centers and bar terraces will reopen that have been closed since … November. Non-essential businesses that have been closed for ‘only’ a month will also reopen. All this with access and / or schedule limitations.

Conversely, Travelers from India will be quarantined for 10 days. This measure is already in force for those who come to France from Brazil, Argentina and South Africa as well as from the French territory of Guyana. It is justified by the virulence of the local Covid strains.

The beginning of the reopening, announced by the spokesman for the Executive, Gabriel Attal, rests on the improvement of the pandemic figures. Thanks to confinement, the number of infections has gone from 43,000 to 32,000 daily. By mid-May they should drop to 20,000. What should ease the tension in the UCIS that continue to record 6,000 hospitalized.

The improvement seems credible for two essential facts. The R factor is less than 1. In other words, the epidemic recoils. Although little. It is at 0.9 which means that each French with Covid contaminates less than one person. In March 2020 it reached 3 and in the second wave 1.5. It is estimated that above 1.2 an epidemic becomes uncontrollable.

The second cause for optimism is the advance of vaccination despite the rejection of the puncture with AstraZeneca. Some 13 million French people have already received a dose (19.4% of the population and about 25% of adults) according to data from the Ministry of Health. Almost 5 million French people (7% of the population, 9% of adults) have completed the process with a second dose.

By the way, vaccination certificates and test results will now carry a data matrix (such as the QR code) that allows better control and prevents falsifications. Customs officers, police or airline employees will be able to check them more quickly and accurately. The citizen can also scan it to integrate it into the application TousAntiCovid.

Experimental controls have been arranged on flights to Corsica and overseas territories. From May, they could be extended to flights with some border passes. Apparently, this device must be similar or part of the European vaccination pass.

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