Lockdown latest from France

At the end of last week, the French Prime Minister extended the night-time curfew to another 38 new départements to cover roughly half of France (46 million inhabitants), red on the map below, including where I live in the Alpes-Maritimes. In total 54 of the country’s 96 mainland départements are now on a night-time curfew. The areas covered grey on the map (below) currently have no curfew in place.

The curfew runs from 9pm to 6am and during that time we’re only allowed out of our homes for essential reasons and we must carry a self-certified permission form stating our reason for being out.  Of course, this is in response to a worsening health situation in France with spiralling numbers of cases and an increasing number of hospitals reporting that intensive care units are filling up with Covid-19 patients.

However even non-curfew zones still have restrictions in place. The ‘rule of six’ on gatherings in private spaces extends to the whole country, although this is a government recommendation rather than an actual rule so we won’t have gendarmes knocking on our door to count our dinner lunch guests.

Masks are still compulsory in all public enclosed spaces such as shops and public transport, while most towns and larger cities (including most of Alpes-Maritimes) have also made them compulsory on the street. Distressingly for my beloved, gyms and swimming pools have once again closed.

Over the weekend France set a new daily record for coronavirus infections with 52,010 recorded in 24 hours, topping 50,000 for the first time. France has also passed the symbolic marker of one million confirmed Covid cases since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, 17% of those tested for the virus now have positive results, up from 4.5% in early September.

Where do we go from here?

On Friday, President Emmanuel Macron said it was too early to say whether a new lockdown was looming, after such a move was imposed nationwide for two months in the spring. Local mayors have also cautionned that further restrictions may have to be put in place.

Since the easing of the first lockdown in May, the French government has repeatedly stressed that the economic and psychological impact of the two months of near-total confinement was too heavy for such drastic measures to be re-introduced.

But as the country’s virus rates continue to spiral, several hospitals in hard-hit areas of the country have sounded the alarm that their establishments are in danger of being overloaded with new patients and asked that the government take tougher measures.

Intensive care rates best indicate the gravity of the Covid-19 situation in the country, because they are the last figure to rise before deaths and highlight the impact of the epidemic on hospitals and the overall health system. France has reported over 200 new admissions into intensive care units per day the past week. On Saturday the country counted 2,491 Covid-19 patients in its intensive wards, much less than during the peak of the first wave of infections in early April (7,019 patients), but more than enough for hospitals to worry about the weeks to come as numbers rise exponentially.

Previously the prime minister had said that the only lockdowns the government would consider were localised ones that targeted the areas suffering the most from the virus. But that was back when the general understanding was that the hardest battles against virus would be fought in the country’s densely populated cities, not in France at large.

The government, health authorities and indeed all of us in France are waiting to see the impact of the curfew on infection rates, but for now the numbers are only rising. Fortunately though, in terms of the number of Covid-19 patients dying, the situation is not as extreme as back in April. France’s daily death toll has been on a level of around 150 per day, compared to over 500 per day in early April. The other statistics are also beginning to accelerate but remain far, far below the levels seen in the spring.

It may be that in order to curb the spread, France introduces either a much stricter and longer nationwide curfew or a second lockdown. Many experts have warned against reopening secondary schools, high schools and universities after the autumn break. What is almost certain is that there will be further measures, whether nationwide or in certain hard-hit areas.

What does this all mean?

I’ll be honest, it makes very little difference to us though I am concerned about the local economy despite the support the government has put in place. Our Domaine is still (thankfully) Covid-free quite possibly because we’ve all been very law-abiding. But clearly others have not. Yes, more widespread testing identifies more cases but that doesn’t account for the rapidly filling hospital beds.

France’s neighbours are all adopting similar strategies. There’s little we can do other than continue to abide by the rules and support local businesses.

Tell us what’s happening where you live?

82 Comments on “Lockdown latest from France

      • The UK also has smaller land area. Population density matters. NYC botched some of it’s handling of the early crisis, but at the same time, the city has an insane population density. Some of what happened was unavoidable due to that

        Liked by 1 person

  1. My area is tier 2. But there were talks of tier 3 which my local MP and other MP’s nearby for other areas nearby on tier 2, but could go to 3 which MP and councilors are trying to stop with numbers low enough for staying at 2.

    Like you and like local MP and councillors, the concern is the economy.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sorry you are under curfew. Agree with Andrew above. We’re all so confused about our tier system here in the UK that you need a degree to work out what you are and are not allowed to do.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Cases are rising at an alarming rate where I am. I am a stone’s throw from a county that is the verge of having the highest rate of infections in the state. We are told to wear masks but compliance is about 50% and people are talking about spending the holidays with extended family. None of it is good, but we remain safe inside our bubble aka home. Where and when this end, I cannot say.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Well lockdowns don’t work, and this virus is not going away anytime soon. We are going to have to just learn to live with it, just like we do ANY other virus. We CANNOT keep people locked up and not allowed to life indefinitely, for many reasons.

    Liked by 5 people

      • We HAVE to figure it out. There are too many other problems that are far worse than “the cure”, like addiction, abuse, suicide, poverty, loss of jobs and businesses. I already know of 1 friend who committed suicide, and that was early on. We are going to have to learn how to live with it or we will not be living at all.

        Liked by 2 people

      • It’s the 80:20 rule. Most of us are doing our bit to protect ourselves and those around us while a minority feel the rules don’t apply to them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Never in history have we ever quarantined healthy people, nor should we. Quarantines are for the sick. The healthy need to continue to live as best they can, and that means functioning and living as normal a life as they can.


      • I just read a very interesting article that states it is NOT nearly as contagious as once thought. The more people getting tested, the more ” cases” they are finding, but that really doesn’t mean anything. The tests they are using are have been identified as claiming 90% false positives because it goes though up to about 40 cycles looking for traces of the virus. The more cycles the test goes through, the more minute the virus and the more minute the capability to spread it to others.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s true the accuracy of the testing leaves a lot to be desired and more testing = more cases. However, the issue in Europe is the number of people in hospital in ICU beds and the overwhelming of hospital services to the detriment of others suffering from say cancer. This problem is widespread in Europe and some countries are considering partial or nationwide lockdowns. It’s anticipated that Macron will announce 4-week nationwide lockdown this evening to take effect from midnight. I too have read a lot of research on Covid and my husband and I are working with a number of companies in this area.

        Liked by 2 people

      • That’s very true, Jeanne, also we need to sort the wheat from the chaff. There’s a lot of misinformation out there too.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. New York is oddly holding steady. But I think that’s mainly because we are at half capacity. I’m finding it difficult to get actual numbers from places. News coverage is really what they want to tell us. Hang in there💗

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Early this morning I just got an update on our neighborhood app and it stated that a second wave has hit here in Arizona, with 1300 new cases that day and 5 new deaths. Apparently our hospitals are filling too but I have not been on news stations for weeks now because of the election hate and chaos everywhere here in our country. Our phone rings and rings all day long with politicians from both sides leaving messages. My daughter had to switch from online reading to Kindle reading because of all the ads from one side that is targeting the university students like crazy. There is no break from it all. The virus numbers started going up like crazy these last two weeks before the election when people will be going out to vote in person, but media is pushing these new high numbers. I am afraid, but I still practice masks wearing, only going out about twice a month to shop during early hours to avoid crowds and taking little trips up north to our place up in nature. Here in the city we live next to a hospital, can walk down the street to it and have in the past with emergency situations where stitches were involved, but we are not seeing or hearing traffic that would indicate that hospitals are getting full and under pressure here like the media is reporting. We had some family here in Arizona and even in other states in our country, like Oklahoma and Arkansas that have gotten sick with the virus, stayed home, and got better within a week. Not everyone has that luxury so we again follow all steps the best we can to avoid this bug…I am still afraid of it. Anyway, that’s the news over here. Stay safe and keep living life in all it’s beauty is what I always tell everyone, take each day and enjoy it.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I am not sure what is worse, the virus or peoples mental health. We have fared quite well here in Aus. Qld have only had 6 deaths all up, probably with the virus maybe not from it. Victoria went in to a 2nd lockdown a few months ago, probably the most severe in the world, and ended up with 800 deaths and God alone knows how many suicides, probably similar. This type of thing is here to stay so we need to live with it rather than shutting down the economy and ruining peoples lives. We just all need to take responsibility for our own actions and health.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. My Morbihan is free!!! most of Bretagne is except Ille et Vilaine 35. There is more talks and more fears so won’t be surprise if put all in confinement again. Pity the economy will suffer and it will a long hill back. Already even in Italy the folks on the streets from restaurant owners to bakers, I imagine it will continue to the rest of the EU soon. In the meantime, the hospitals are still lacking capacity…!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. well….dont look at the usa to figure out what to do as the trump way is to ignore it and say we are doing the best in all the world!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. If people wore masks and practiced some social distancing discipline, more extreme measures might not be needed. But in the US, each moron hast a personal take on what personal freedom and responsibilities entail
    On the news tonight, they said tho Putin is now requiring Russians to wear masks. They were only half joking when they wondered if he could convince Trump to do the same.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. So interesting to read other peoples experiences.Sorry for your loss if this virus has affected you, but ,I live in a highly affected area and I have yet to know anyone who has passed away .On social media there is evidence of testing centres being empty.What’s going on?

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Sobering stats. While cases are rising across the States, the ones seeing higher rates are ones that don’t have rules for masks and distancing. It is pretty clear that those measures work. Not sure why folks resist the science, but with that nut in the WH, go figure.

    Liked by 7 people

  13. Illinois is doing bad too. new restrictions were put in place last Friday and businesses continue to hurt. stay safe!

    Liked by 5 people

  14. ♡ A Largely DisCredited WHO is 💯 Responsible for This Mess; after ALL WHO Defines PANDEMIC!!! Panic if NOT!!! Pharmaceutical Funded WHO!!! EveryOne 🤔 ?


    Liked by 4 people

  15. You will know that the most severe restrictions are largely in the North. Figures of infections are increasing in Hampshire, but we are still very low. The neighbouring Dorset is moving up a gear.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. I see other responses from the UK Sheree and even with a MSc, it is difficult to unravel the complexities of the rules that the clowns in HMG made up. As of yesterday, ~ 20000 people testing +ve a day and we are nearly at the 1 million mark. ~ 9000 in UK hospitals of which 850 in an ICU bed. Deaths continue to rise (367 yesterday. Its all very tragic. Stay safe

    Liked by 4 people

      • It’s hard when I barely see anyone because I am a social person I like to be around people so it’s hard not seeing many people during the week


  17. I’m in Los Angeles — we’re fortunate to have a great governor, but he can only do so much with a terrible president…

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Things are as bad as they have been so far. We have reached our highest death rate and infected people so far. Our local hospital has banned most visitors and are filled to capacity. They have run out of ventilators. Employee’s are getting infected and we have volunteers coming in to help. When will this end!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Pingback: Further Lockdown Measures – View from the Back

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