The head of state, Emmanuel Macron held a videoconference on deconfinement with 22 local elected officials, including the mayor of Toulouse, Thursday 23rd April 2020. Here is what they said.
Emmanuel Macron and local elected officials met on Thursday 23rd April 2020 in the morning by videoconference to discuss the terms of the deconfinement, which must occur in less than three weeks, Monday, May 11th.
President of France Urbaine, the association which brings together the major cities of France, the mayor of Toulouse Jean-Luc Moudenc was there, alongside 21 other local elected representatives. This is what they said to each other.
“He talked a lot about tests”
“Two big subjects” focused the discussions, according to Jean-Luc Moudenc: “The return to school and that of public transport.” The mayor of Toulouse specifies that “the municipal elections were not mentioned”, the President of the Republic not have wished it.
The Capitole tenant is delighted with the “listening approach” that the Élysée has shown in his eyes. “We asked for this dialogue with the state. The state has to lay down general rules and leave us with flexibility on the ground ”. He specifies :
“He did not go into the details of the deconfinement. We were told that the scientific authorities were working on it.”
According to Jean-Luc Moudenc, “the President of the Republic has talked a lot about tests and warned us about serological tests, except for caregivers. He pleaded for territorial equity in the matter ”.
Mandatory mask in public transport
Concerning public transport, the President of the Republic confirmed, without surprise, that the wearing of a mask would be compulsory there, but also that social distancing rules would be applied there.
The deconfinement will not be regional on May 11th
Before the mayors, Emmanuel Macron also ” denied the hypothesis of a regional deconfinement, and indicated that we were going to rely on the prefects of departments”, supports Jean-Luc Moudenc. But there would also be no deconfinement by the department, as several hypotheses evoked:
“Deconfinement by region has been ruled out, because these territories are too large, as in Occitanie (13 departments, note). The deconfinement will be national and the dates will be the same nationally. But the role of each prefect of department will be crucial. A department that is not or hardly affected, you do not treat it in the same way as a very affected department. Neighboring territories are not in the same situation in the face of this health crisis. In Haute-Garonne, for example, the death toll equals that of Andorra, while we have 1.4 million and 77,000 inhabitants respectively.”
Concretely, measures could be adapted to each department, after discussions between the prefects and the mayors, with regard to the epidemic locally, for “a territorial and progressive deconfinement” from May 11. “In the end, deconfinement will be more difficult to organize than confinement, because the situation is very nuanced from one territory to another”.
“Parents will have the freedom to send their children to school”
The bulk of the discussion with the head of state focused on the return to school, a subject that strongly scrambles opinion.
Emmanuel Macron told local elected officials that this return like no other would be done on a voluntary basis, from May 11th onwards. The Élysée added that priority would be “probably given to the youngest, those who are not independent”. Jean-Luc Moudenc specifies: “He indicated to us that there would be a” targeting on children who are out of school, or who need remedial schooling, but also on the children of caregivers, public service agents and employees of strategic companies who have to work ”.
The mayor of Toulouse confirms:
“Parents will have the freedom to send their children to school or not from May 11th, especially if they are worried.”
What will be the rules for wearing a mask and social distancing? “The question of equipment is one of the subjects to which we will have an answer at the start of the week,” replied Jean-Luc Moudenc. As for who will be responsible in the event of a health problem (the State? The town hall?), “This question is not settled”. On all these points of uncertainty, the president indicated to the mayors that “the scientific authority is in the process of working on it”.
“We cannot reopen schools without health doctrine”
Still on the school, “we draw plans on the comet from the minister’s declarations, but we are missing a very important element which is the health doctrine that applies to it,” asserts Jean-Luc Moudenc by the way out. Of the reunion :
We have said that we cannot reopen schools without having a clear health doctrine. Because there can be no deconfinement without health doctrine that secures the French. We will have it next week.
Jean-Luc Moudenc and his colleagues are in particular awaiting details concerning the threshold of 15 children per class mentioned by Jean-Michel Blanquer . This can obviously be problematic in already tense areas. Answers which, there too, should fall next week.
[🌡 COVID-19] Le président de France urbaine @jlmoudenc participe ce matin à la réunion tenue par le président de la République @EmmanuelMacron avec les présidents d’associations d’élus et plusieurs maires pour organiser le #Deconfinement11Mai. L’efficacité par le collectif. pic.twitter.com/1Qa63UKwUv
— France urbaine (@France_urbaine) April 23, 2020
Jean-Luc Moudenc “shares the worries” of the teachers
Friday 17th April 2020, Jean-Luc Moudenc had expressed some reservations about the strategy adopted by the government for deconfinement. T
The framework of this deconfinement plan is to be presented by the government next week, probably Tuesday. For the detailed plan, however, it will probably wait until early May.
Haute-Garonne, “a department spared” by the epidemic
Jean-Luc Moudenc also dwelled on the particular situation of Haute-Garonne, so far fairly “spared” by the epidemic. “With us, there are many things that will restart on May 11, because we are lucky to be in a saved department. But if confinement allowed us to be, it must also be the case with deconfinement… ”. He warned residents tempted to put their noses out: ” As long as the confinement is there, our role is to enforce it and we will do it with the municipal police. I appeal to the people of Toulouse to continue until May 11th to strictly respect the rules ”.