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09 mai 2020 | 02h02 UTC

France: Government to introduce deconfinement measures from May 11 /update 24

France Alerte de sécurité

French government to introduce second phase of deconfinement measures from May 11; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/5/2020, 12h00 until 30/5/2020, 11h59 (Europe/Paris). COUNTRY/REGION France

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Event

The French government will begin introducing the second phase of deconfinement measures to each department from Monday, May 11. The relaxations, designed to ease confinement restrictions while also preventing a resurgence in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, are subject to an individual assessment of each department. Authorities have classified departments as either "green" or "red" zones. Departments are designated as "green" when the virus is no longer actively circulating in the community, hospitals have capacity in their intensive care units, and enough COVID-19 tests are available. "Red" departments indicate that the virus is still actively present, and the number of people being admitted to hospital and intensive care within the last seven days is putting the health system under pressure. These departments may also have a lack of tests. Departments with less than 5.9 percent intensive care admissions are designated as "green".

From May 11, the following are allowed to reopen for all departments:

  • Forests, cemeteries, funerals (of fewer than 20 people), libraries, small media/cultural centers, and small museums. Social distancing and barrier methods will still be necessary.
  • Churches and religious centers (no ceremonies or events allowed, except funerals with fewer than 20 people).
  • 90 percent of primary schools with a limit of 15 children per class in école élementaire and 10 at maternelle.   Masks will be required for staff.
  • Urban public transport with social distancing measures in place. At peak times, priority will be given to individuals commuting to work that cannot be done at home, as well as those traveling to school and for medical reasons. It is mandatory to wear a mask while on public transport.
  • Taxis and VTCs (ride-sharing applications). Both passenger and driver must wear a mask at all times "in the absence of driver-passenger protection".
  • Shops and commercial centers with a surface area of less than 40,000 sq m (430,560 sq ft). Open-air markets, hairdressers, barbershops, and beauty salons, as long as health and safety guidelines are followed.

From May 11, the following will open for "green" departments:

  • Public parks and gardens.
  • Collèges (middle school) starting with sixième (age 11) and cinquième (age 12). There is a limit of 15 pupils per class and masks must be worn.

Due to departments being able to change color daily, the Director-General for Health Jerome Salomon will present a new map every evening during the daily press conferences. Authorities will consider reopening high schools and restaurants once a department has remained as "green" for three weeks. From May 11, face masks are compulsory in select public spaces, and journeys of more than 100 km (62 mi) from an individual's home will be prohibited, except for professional or exceptional personal reasons. Private and public gatherings will be limited to ten individuals, though all events and entertainment facilities, including cinemas, theatres, and professional leagues, will remain suspended until further notice.

The state of emergency will remain in place until Friday, July 24, while a nationwide lockdown is due to expire on Monday, May 11. Under the lockdown measures, individuals are prohibited from leaving their homes except for essential needs, such as shopping for food or seeking medical assistance. Authorities also introduced an International Circulation Declaration on Monday, April 6. The completion of the declaration is required prior to entry by all travelers transiting through French territories and applies to all forms of transportation. Travel between metropolitan France and overseas territories is also affected by the measure. For more information, please see this website.

As of May 8, health authorities have confirmed 174,918 cases of COVID-19, including 25,990 associated deaths. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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