After his interview on Twitch on Sunday March 14, the Prime Minister answered more questions on Tuesday March 16, 2021 as BFMTV broadcasted a special show from 8 p.m. with Jean Castex as an exceptional guest, as the health crisis has been hitting France for almost a year, now. At 8:50 p.m. the chief of the executive answered questions from Matignon, asked by Apolline de Malherbe and Maxime Switek on BFMTV.
This was the occasion for Castex to address the evolution of the Covid-19 epidemic situation in the country, as over 90,000 deaths have been reported so far. Would Île-de-France prevent lockdown? Where is the vaccination campaign at in France? How is the government considering life after Covid? As many question Castex had to answer during the Tuesday’s interview on BFMTV.
New restrictions in Paris and Île-de-France: 4-week lockdown
The coronavirus epidemic is escalating in Île-de-France. The entire region has been placed under strengthened surveillance and hospitals are adapting to the increase in admissions in intensive care units. As the regional incidence rate exceeded the threshold of 400 cases for 100,000 inhabitants, Jean Castex has announced a four-week lockdown in the entire Paris area. [Read more]
During the show, the chief of government admitted the emergency of the health situation in Île-de-France. The region’s incidence rate now exceeds 418 new cases per week, for 100,000 inhabitants, namely higher than the incidence rate criterion set by Jean Castex which was 400 cases for 100,000 inhabitants.
The Prime Minister admis the hypothesis of a new lockdown, at least partial, in Île-de-France was “on the table”. He adds: “The fact is that today, […] we see we are in a critical situation, and to be honest, measures like the one we instated in other parts of the country are on the agenda”.
Castex clearly alludes to the partial lockdowns instated in Alpes-Maritimes and Dunkirk. Does it mean Paris and Île-de-France might avoid total lockdown? The executive suggested the possibility for the region to require stricter measures than in the rest of France.
Yet, the Prime Minister did not want to announce new measures on that evening. He states that so far, they are just at the hypothesis stage, “because we shall be effective and fair”. Yet, this new lockdown is growing more and more likely, and it is probably not going to be like the March 2020’s lockdown. As a matter of fact, the government still wishes to keep schools open. They shall only close “as a last resort”.