Latest from Semi-Lockdown in France

Last week France’s health minister warned that new measures might be needed to deal with the new, more infectious, variants of the Covid-19 virus to avoid ‘an epidemic within an epidemic’. The major worry was around the new, more contagious variants of the virus discovered in the UK and South Africa, which now account for 2,000 new cases a day – around 10% of the total in France.

So, where are we?

Case numbers of new Covid cases currently stand at an average of 20,000 a day – considerably less than the 50,000 a day that France saw when it went into lockdown for a second time in October, but a number that has been growing at a rate of 10%/week for the last month.

My local hospitals in Nice (the Alpes-Maritimes has the highest incidence rate in France) have been forced to transfer intensive care patients  to neighbouring regions. The hard-hit eastern regions of Grand Est and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté have also been transferring intensive care patients.

There are currently 27,000 Covid patients in hospital of whom 3,100 are in intensive care – the occupancy rate of intensive care units has jumped from 50% to 60% since Christmas.

Extra Restrictions

A last-minute meeting of France’s Defence Council last Friday ended with no return to lockdown, although extra restrictions were put in place:-

  • A ban on all travel in and out of France from outside the EU, with an exception only for vital travel from midnight Sunday 31 January (0:00am).
  • All arrivals into France from within the EU must present a negative Covid test (previously this rule had only applied to arrivals by air and sea). Cross-border workers are exempt from this requirement
  • From Sunday, all non-food shopping centres larger than 20,000 square metres will close
  • The protocol on home-working will be reinforced so that everyone who can work from home does so
  • Ski lifts will stay closed at least for the rest of February
  • Police will step up checks on compliance with curfew and crack down on illegal parties and restaurant-opening.

The current rules including the 6pm curfew will remain in place.

France wants to do everything it can to avoid another lockdown. The coming days and weeksill be decisive. We all have to be very vigilant.

38 Comments on “Latest from Semi-Lockdown in France

  1. You forgot “in these trying times” and “we’re all in this together”! Geez, Louise, you can’t forget those when you say we have to be vigilant!!! I think it’s a rule or something.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. What a mess. At least it’s being taken fairly serious there. I swear that the “it’s a hoax”, “it’s 5G related”, and “It’s my right to not wear a mask” crowds are growing here.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Stay safe… and stay far away from anyone not wearing a mask. I truly do not understand what is wrong with those people; they wear seatbelts, non?

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Thank you very much for what’s going on in France. I think we are better off in the US now that we have a president that believes in Science rather than platitudes. Our local health district now has a positivety rate if under 5 percent.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Hi Sheree – It’s very interesting to hear the views of people from around the world – I am still having some difficulty in the closing of shops in the huge commercial centres but they can remain open in the high street e.g. opticians

    Liked by 3 people

  6. more restrictions, it’s tough. here they are talking about lifting some restrictions, since we have smaller numbers than in November

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Thanks for giving this update Sheree. It’s good that you have a government that seems to know what to do. We are still under a stay at home order here in Ontario, though it’s still okay to go for a walk or shop, even though there are not many stores open right now. Have a wonderful weekend Sheree!😀😺🌞

    Liked by 2 people

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