Coronavirus: the Constitutional Council validates the text extending the health emergency

Published by Manon C., Laurent P. · Published on 11 May 2020 at 19h23 · Updated on 12 May 2020 at 10h15
The health emergency officially extended up to July 10th, 2020 after the Senate and the National Assembly validated it this Saturday May 9th has just been validated, this Monday May 11th, by the Constitutional Council. Yet, some elements have been censored by the latter, suck as traking and isolating sick.

We all remember this sentence repeated six times by Emmanuel Macron for a while: "we are at war" with coronavirus, since March 16, 2020. In this context, the council of Ministers has declared on March 23rd health emergency for two months, that is to say up to May 24, 2020. This Saturday May 2, the government extends aiming at extending the health emergency for two monthsthat is to say up to July 24th, 2020.

Among the measures of this draft bill presented this Saturday at the council of Ministers, quarantine and mandatory isolation of any people landing on French soil. The government also announced that data collected thanks to the contact tracing of the health brigates will be independing from the Stop-Covid app.

In the night from May 5th to 6th the draft bill extending the health emergency has been presented to the Senate that passed it yet on certain conditions and by bringing alterations, "essential guarantees" as for the follow-up of sick and the responsibility of mayors.

As for the length, the Senate voted for the extension of the health emergency up to July 10th, and not July 24th as wanted by the government. And against the government's mind, the Senate agreed on the scheme aiming at changing the system of employers', local elected officials' and local government officers' criminal liability led to take measures at the time of deconfinement.

As for contact tracing, the Senate approved the creation of a system tracing people infected by coronavirus and their contacts, but by giving a stricter framework: limits to the waiver of medical confidentiality, scrutinizing body and even individual right to oppose in some cases.

Among other topics addressed during this vote at the Senate, the possible reopening of beaches and forest, as well as domestic abuse. An amendment from the Socialist Party has been unanimously passed. The latter plans that abused women cannot be put on quarantine or isolated with their violent companion.

In the night from May 8th to 9th, the National Assembly voted after the first reading of the 7-article draft bill for the extension of the health emergency up to July 10th supported by LaREM, MoDem and most UDI-Agir MEPs. The Socialist Party voted against, in the name of "individual freedom" like the LFI regretting a lack of social measures and the PCF judging the health emergency  "counterproductive". LR MEPs also voted against.

On late May 9th, the Parliament has definitively passed the text extending the health emergency up to July 10th, after one last vote at the National Assembly.
And on May 11th, after a demand from the Senate and the French President, it is the Constitutional Council's turn to validate the bill extending the health emergency, yet censoring some elements "connected with tracking and isolating sick" as our peers at Le Monde explain. Moreover, trips limited to a 100-km distance and the mandatory trip certificate for public transportation are now implemented.

For the record, during this period, health emergencygives the power to the Prime Minister to decree – based on the report of the health minister – the general measures limiting the liberty of coming and going, the liberty of taking action and the liberty of meeting and enables to carry out requisitions of all goods and services needed to fight against the health crisis.”

Confinement, limited public transit, closure of some public places, markets banned, gatherings banned, hand sanitizer prices controlled, masks requisitionned... All these measures have been made legal with this emergency state and as the end of confinement is upon us, the government thinks about extending this legal help with  an extension.

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