COVID-19: Terraces, sports halls, curfew … Emmanuel Macron unveiled Thursday a schedule of deconfinement “in four stages”, which should accelerate between May 19th and June 30th
“Stage zero was the reopening of schools on April 26th. We have assumed this educational priority and this strategy of living with the virus, ”said the Head of State in an interview with the regional press.
The first stage, May 3rd. As planned, travel restrictions within 10 km of the home will be lifted, middle and high school students will return to classrooms … On the other hand, the curfew will remain unchanged.
We will have to wait until May 19th to see the curfew pushed back to 9 p.m. It will also be the return of the terraces of bars and restaurants, with a maximum of six people per table. “We need to rediscover our French art of living, while remaining cautious and responsible,” said Emmanuel Macron. Shops will also be able to reopen on this date, with appropriate gauges and protocols, as will museums, cinemas and theaters, up to a limit of 800 people indoors and 1,000 outdoors.
Third stage, June 9nd . The curfew will be moved to 11 p.m. and cafes and restaurants can reopen indoors, still with a maximum of six guests per table. It will be possible to return to the gym and telecommuting will be made more flexible.
Finally on June 30th, on the eve of the holidays, “end of the curfew,” said the Head of State. It will be possible to participate in events of more than 1,000 people, but with a health pass, that is to say a negative test of less than 72 hours or a certificate of immunity.
A health pass
This pass “will never be a right of access which differentiates the French,” assured Emmanuel Macron, specifying that it “could not be compulsory” in restaurants, theaters and cinemas. “On the other hand, in places where crowds mix, such as stadiums, festivals, fairs or exhibitions, it would be absurd not to use it”, he considered.
The professionals of the hotel and restaurant were delighted to have “finally a calendar”, while worrying unknowns about the level gauges and instruments. “Finally we have the keys to deconfinement and we can organize ourselves to work”, welcomed AFP Roland Héguy, president of Umih, the main union in the sector, while on the side of the independents (GNI) , Didier Chenet said he was “disappointed not to reopen for Ascension weekend”.
The Head of State repeated it: “I have never made a bet on the health and safety of our fellow citizens”, “we were enlightened by science and we made the choice to put people first of all “. Because “the life of the Nation is not reduced to the evolution of curves”, he assured.
“A life as normal as possible”
For Simon Cauchemez , member of the Scientific Council which advises the government, “if we gradually extend the lifting of health restrictions until early July, with a more sustained pace on vaccination, we find ourselves at the start of the summer holidays in a more bearable epidemic situation ”.
Before the presentation of this calendar, the epidemiologist Catherine Hill had estimated Wednesday on BFMTV that largely deconfining would be “absolutely not reasonable”, because “we have more people arriving in intensive care than at the peak of November”.
14.9 million people have received at least one injection
According to figures Wednesday night, 5,879 sufferers Covid hospitalized in intensive care, less than the April 2020 peak (around 7000) but in the fall (4900). The Covid killed 324 people in 24 hours, for a total of 103,947 deaths.
On the other hand, the number of hospitalized Covid patients fell back below the 30,000 mark on Wednesday, for the first time since the beginning of April (29,911). And the daily number of positive cases (an average of 27,000 over the past seven days) is lower than it was a month ago (around 40,000).
While the pace of vaccination is a crucial issue, many voices have called on the government to anticipate the opening of injections to 50-55-year-olds without co-morbid conditions, currently set for May 15.
An option rejected by the Head of State: “we will continue to prioritize by age”, but vaccination will be open “from May 1st” to all obese adults, with a body mass index greater than 30, he said.
So far, 14.9 million people have received at least one injection, of which more than 6 million have received their two doses (or 11.5% of the adult population).
The purpose of these measures is to allow the “return to a life as normal as possible”, hammered the Head of State, who intends to “take back (his) pilgrim’s staff and go to the territories” from “the beginning of the month of June “.
And “as long as I am there, there will be no tax hikes out of the crisis”, he assured.