Edouard Philippe presented this April 28th at the National Assembly, the government's deconfinement plan. In order to protect the French population against Covid-19, the Prime Minister addressed the masks issue, saying that "there will be enough masks for everyone on May 11th" and that masks are compulsory on public transit.
Good news for all those who were asking for mandatory facemasks in public transit such as Île-de-France region president Valérie Pécresse.
“Wearing facemasks is what protects and it’s what protects especially in closed spaces such as public transit in which, by definition, it will be difficult to respect social distancing” Valérie Pécresse continues, “then, we need mandatory facemasks”. A wish also shared by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and SNCF CEO Jean-Pierre Farandou.
2 million facemasks given in 400 railway stations in Île-de-France
In an interview with France 2, on May 8th, Valérie Pécresse said that 2 million facemasks will be given in 400 stations in Ile-de-France from Monday May 11 and for the first weeks. "It will enable to start the machine and until Ile-de-France inhabitants can buy some by themselves" she said.
For the record, Valérie Pécresse shared in the JDD her deconfinement plan especially for public transit. Talking about mobile brigades to disinfect trains and hand-sanitizer machines, the Region Pesident say they were "able to give surgical masks to users at the entrances of stations for the first three weeks of deconfinement".
2 million cloth facemasks given to Navigo users, available at railway station desks
In Le Parisien, on April 26, Valérie Pécresse explained that 2 million cloth facemasks will be given to public transit users in Ile-de-France. "Since the State doesn't seem ready to give masks, we will do it... I am pragmatic. And we want the activity to resume because, behind the health crisis, there's an economic and social crisis extremely harsh" she explained. In an interview with the JDD released on May 3, the Ile-de-France region President says that cloth facemasks "will be given to Navigo pass holders, available at desks".
By the way, still in the JDD, Valérie Pécresse unveiled a plan to deconfine Ile-de-France and especially public transit. As for mobile brigades to disinfect trains and hand-sanitizer vending machines, the Region President says she was "to give surgical masks to all commuters at the entrance of railway stations for the first three weeks of deconfinement".
Valérie Pécresse also says that "all selling points of the network, as well as vending machines, will propose surgical masks for the price set by Bercy, for 95 cents".
Deconfinement plan and remote working... Valérie Pécresse's propositions
As for the concern of Ile-de-France travelers as for going back to public transit, Valérie Pécresse demands respect. "If you have fever, do not ride public transit and see a doctor immediately. The Region, along with the Regional Healthcare Agency, will take part in a massive test policy for Ile-de-France inhabitants, with the possibility to quarantine people in hotel rooms".
Valérie Pécresse also wishes all stations and railways stations to be disinfected: “as the authority organizing transit, Île-de-France Mobilités, we asked all operators to set up a large disinfection plan and beyond a car cleaning policy that would be quite unlike what was done before. Hand sanitizers will be distributed, and I think each store in railway stations and subway stations to sell masks, hand sanitizer and gloves eventually” she said this April 17 on France Bleu Paris.
You should know that even today, while confinement is still on, some bus and tramway lines in Ile-de-France remain crowded at peak hours. In such conditions, it’s impossible to respect social distancing recommendations.
Valérie Pécresse encourages remote working to avoid the massive flux in public transit.
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