Coronavirus: no curfew announced, but new restrictions in Paris

Published by Rizhlaine F., My B., Cécile D. · Photos by My B. · Published on 5 November 2020 at 20h43 · Updated on 6 November 2020 at 09h52
As the coronavirus epidemic is growing exponentially in France, in Paris, Anne Hidalgo announced new measures for the city on November 5, 2020. During his weekly press brief, Olivier Véran did not address the likely curfew issue. Yet he urges everyone to comply with health guidelines and lockdown.

Implemented for two weeks, and then replaced by lockdown, will it be back in Paris and Île-de-France? This Tuesday October 3, 2020 government's spokesperson Gabriel Attal announced curfew will be implemented on top of lockdown in Paris and extended to the entire in Île-de-France region in the upcoming days.

"We'll reinstate a curfew in Paris and perhaps in Île-de-France at 9 p.m. Secretary of the Interior is to make the announcement today" he explained on BFMTV. "We are setting up measures that are difficult for us, and even though many people respect them, it is unbearable for some French to see others breaking the rules".

Why a curfew? Gatherings in the streets of Paris - despite the curfew during the weekend (October 31 to November 1):

"There have been 100,000 checks this weekend, 14,000 fines issued. A certain number of fines have been issued for people who were traveling around as they shouldn't have to, others for the locations that housed people and they shouldn't have. For instance, a bar in Evry-Courcouronnes housed patrons for the night"he is outraged.

A few minutes past his address, the government denied Gabriel Attal's statements. Even though this measure is being studied, the final decision has not been made yet. Olivier Véran's press brief held on Thursday November 5 did not mark the announce of a curfew. But, the same day, Anne Hidalgo and Paris prefect of police have decided to close some stores from 10 p.m. in Paris and the inner suburbs of Paris and ban the sale of alcohol past this hour.

As for Olivier Véran he addressed the second wave and urges the French to comply with the health guidelines as well as lockdown in order for them to overcome this new challenge in the fight against coronavirus. He reminds every one has responsibilities and said the goal was to halt the epidemic strongly and quickly. He describes a severe situation with a much stronger second wave, reminding that improving ICU occupancy ability was not enough because Covid 19 side effects are too serious.

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Elsewhere in France, the government lets prefects the possibility to reinstate curfew or not, depending on the situation they are facing.

The coronavirus epidemic is resurging in France, and the second wave, like the first wave of the health crisis hit Île-de-France and especially Paris. As Covid-19 is exponentially spreading and the French capital and the inner suburbs of Paris have been put on curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. two weeks ago. And people turned towards the French capital to know if the measure enabled to curb the evolution of the pandemic.

"If we can keep the curfew up for 6 weeks, we think we can progressively reopen closed places. 6 weeks is the time period that seems useful. The goal is to be able to keep on having an economic life, that our citizesn can keep on having a normal life, working, while reducing asperities" the head of state then said. But, two weeks later, the number of new cases is escalating very quickly and hospitals are filled up to 70% with Covid patients in Paris and Ile-de-France.

Because of the exponential growth of the epidemic, President Macron has held an emergency Defense Council on Tuesday and Wednesday. Three scenarios were then considered: national lockdown, local lockdowns and adapted lockdowns including a tougher curfew and lockdown on weekends.

But at the end of the day, nationwide lockdown was chosen by the government to try and curb the epidemic that is hitting the country very badly.

A new general lockdown for at least four weeks and renewable: this is the scenario everybody fearerd and wanted to avoid. The only viable solution to effectively control the new epidemic wave, a counsellor said. "Toughening up the curfew would not have been enough to curb the virus in a context of total overwhelming of the hospitals from mid-November" he said.

But then, why was local lockdown in the most hit cities and departments not possible? A local lockdown would have been an "epidemiological incoherence, because the whole territory is rather consistently hit", we are told.

According to the French government, lockdown is the only viable solution to:

  • Protect the oldest and the most severly infected
  • Protect the youngest hit at 30% in hospitals
  • Protect the worn-out medical staff
  • Protect the lowest-income families
  • Protect the economy

The President said so, it will not prevent hospitals to be clogged up as they may be overwhelmed in November. But perhaps, will we get to celebrate Christmas?

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Practical information

Location

1er Arrondissement
75001 Paris 1

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