"The situation is improving". Schools reopening, border controls... Jean Castex addressed the measures currently on and the Covid-19 epidemic situation in France, at a new press brief held this Thursday April 22, 2021. The Prime Minister also announced the new prospects for the weeks to come.
First of all, the PM addressed the health situation. "The peak of the third wave seems behind us, and the epidemic pressure seems to have started declining", the head of the government considers. As for epidemic data, "the number of patients put in intensive care reaches a plateau" including 7,600 Covid patients currently in ICU. He says the hospital pressure remains "very heavy and lasting".
Furthermore, Castex detailed the implementation of a reinforced control system applying to travelers coming from Brazil, Chile, South Africa, and India. At departure and arrival, a test will be systematically required. A "health lock" will be instated starting Saturday April 24 including a 10-day quarantine for all travelers concerned.
As for the reopening of schools, the PM confirmed schools resume from April 26, 2021 for nursery and elementary schools, and May 3 for junior high schools, and high schools. In order to maintain health safety, Castex spoke about deploying self-tests. "We'll take 250,000 in late March, 400,000 starting next week with the prospect to reach 600,000 tests by mid-May", Castex explained. Classes will still close as soon as a Covid-19 case is detected. Strict protocol will be kept, from nursery school to high school.
Moving on to the vaccination campaign, the Prime Minister reminded the governmental goals, and the current situation: "70% of our fellow citizen aged 75+, 70% of our health caregivers" have been given the first dose. Furthermore, the government expects to reach 20 million people given the first dose by mid-May, and 30 million by mid-June. He also reminds vaccination must complete with "all vaccines avaialble", AstraZeneca included.
Last but not least, the Prime Minister also spoke about the reopening to come, "starting mid-May", as promised on March 31 by President Macron. The economy's lockdown exit will be completed "step by step in a cautious and progressive fashion'. Stores can reopen as well as some cultural place as expected, starting from May 10th's week. "If the health conditions allow it", Jean Castex adds.