France’s Measures to Combat the Coronavirus

General News
Emmanuel Macron speaks from the Elysée on the coronavirus, March 12, 2020.

During his speech, Thursday 12th March 2020, Emmanuel Macron defined several drastic measures to fight against the spread of Coronavirus Covid-19. Details.

Travel to be limited as much as possible, crèches, schools and universities closed from Monday 16th March 2020: the fight against the new coronavirus is taking a turn after the call launched by Emmanuel Macron to “unite” to curb the epidemic which is starting to put France in slow motion.

Faced with “the most serious health crisis in a century”, Emmanuel Macron posed as a unifier of the Nation to make the French accept drastic measures against the coronavirus.



He appealed to the “responsibility” of each by asking all limited “strictly necessary” movement, and people over 70 years old and fragile to stay home.

“United, France is our best asset in the troubled times we are going through.”

What are the measures?

  • The closure of schools, nurseries and universities

Emmanuel Macron has ordered the closure, from Monday and “until further notice”, nurseries, schools and universities to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, which has killed 61 people and infected nearly 3,000. For millions Friday is the last day in class before a break that could last for weeks.



• No postponement of municipal elections

Less than three days before the municipal elections, on Sunday 15th March, he maintained this electoral event, but by providing facilities to avoid long waits for the elderly, the most vulnerable to the virus.

• Make room in hospitals 

As a precaution, the government has asked for the “immediate deprogramming of non-urgent surgical procedures” in order to free up beds in intensive care, recovery rooms and qualified personnel, in accordance with stage 2 of the hospitals’ ” white plan “. “All the means necessary” for health will be used “whatever the cost,” insisted the President, extolling the virtues of the welfare state.

• The winter break postponed by two months

The winter break, which was scheduled to end on March 31, will be postponed for two months, May 31. “I ask the government for exceptional measures for the most fragile. ”

• 100% coverage of partial unemployment for employees

“We have to protect employees and companies. An exceptional mechanism for massive partial unemployment of employees will be put in place with 100% support from the State. Already 3600 companies have asked to benefit from this measure for around 60,000 employees, according to the Minister of Labor Muriel Pénicaud. Tourism, catering, events and transport are particularly affected.

All companies can postpone the payment of contributions and taxes due in March, on request and without proof.

The president encouraged companies to ask their employees to work remotely.


Crisis meeting

A few hours after the end of the presidential address, the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo convened a crisis meeting for Friday to “draw all the consequences” from the decisions announced by Emmanuel Macron.

The mayors of Nantes Johanna Rolland and Bordeaux Nicolas Florian announced Thursday evening that they were suspending their electoral campaign to devote themselves to the implementation of measures to combat the new coronavirus.

According to the latest official report, 61 people died and 2,876 were infected – nearly 600 more in 24 hours. There are 129 serious cases, in intensive care.

Faced with the acceleration of contamination, in France but even more so with its Italian and Spanish neighbours, Thursday was clearly a turning point and mobilized the summit of the state and the government.

Many unknowns

The Prime Minister, surrounded by five ministers including those of Health and the Interior, received the presidents of the Assemblies and of the parliamentary groups, as well as the party leaders and the presidents of the associations of elected representatives.

Many unknowns remain around this virus have noted experts who fear the future. Professor Éric Caumes, head of the infectious diseases department at La Salpêtrière, warned Wednesday evening that “resuscitation (services) are filling up extremely quickly (…), he assured on LCI:

“I see what is happening in my hospital and it is the same thing in Strasbourg, in Vannes… We know that this is only the beginning.”

The Minister of Health assured in return that the whole strategy of the government consisted from the beginning in “preparing the hospitals to avoid that (the situation) is too tense” and in curbing the spread.

In addition to the outbreaks already identified, notably in Morbihan, Haut Rhin, Oise and Corsica, a new point of contamination was announced on Wednesday in the Montpellier agglomeration and a first case was detected on Thursday in Guadeloupe. But the situation is also particularly tense in the Rhône, in Francheville near Lyon and in the Lyon district of Croix-Rousse, where two geriatric establishments recorded two deaths each in 24 hours.

At this stage, the health emergency is coupled with an economic emergency, illustrated in particular by the historic debacle of the stock markets: Paris thus experienced the sharpest fall in its history, closing at -12.3%.

The Olympia, after many others, announced on Thursday that it would be closed until April 15 due to the ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people. And Iggy Pop postponed his France tour from April to September.

In sport, handball and volleyball have decided to stop. The French Football Federation (FFF) has suspended all its competitions and activities “until further notice”, starting with the women’s D1.

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