Covid: Jean Castex detailed France's progressive lockdown exit strategy measures

Published by Alexandre G. · Published on 26 November 2020 at 11h13 · Updated on 26 November 2020 at 16h20
Prime Minister held a press brief on Thursday November 26, 2020 at 11 a.m. to detail Emmanuel Macron's statements as for the progressive lockdown exit strategy including health protocols implemented for the reopening of stores first, as well as the new conditions of the curfew and the Holidays.

What future lies for France as the country faces the health crisis? Prime Minister Jean Castex held a new press brief on Thursday November 26, 2020 at 11 a.m. "We cannot drop our guard" he warns. "Time has come to progressively ease off restrictions".

The Prime Minister was accompanied by Minister of Labor Elisabeth Borne, Health Minister Olivier Véran, Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot and delegate minister for the Economy, Finances and Recovery entrusted with SMBs Alain Griset.

First, the head of the government thanked caregivers' work and courage. Then, he said he was pleased because "first results are here, your efforts pay off" and the "epidemic pressure is weakening". Furthermore the "R zero" has reached 0.65, that is to say "the level reached during the first lockdown".

Lockdown exit measures detailed by PM Jean Castex:

  • Lockdown exit strategy in three steps
"The first step is an easing phase, with the resuming of a certain number of activities. Trips will be restricted still, and certificates mandatory.
The second step starts on December 15 with curfew from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., and certificates are mandatory.
As of January 20, if indicators are good, we can consider lifting curfew and enable recovery. Remote working will remain standards."
  • Stores to reopen from December 15, conditions
"I know this was highly anticipated. In light of the health evolution, all stores can reopen on Saturday November 28, 2020. Therefore, some section closure measures in supermarkets will be lifted. This reopening will have to comply with a reinforced health protocol".
  • Places of worship and services, caped at 30 people
"Places of worship can reopen next weekend. They will first receive 30 people in compliance with the health guidelines. But the gauge can change, like in any other place, depending on the overall capacity".
  • Derogatory trip certificate to end on December 15, trips between regions allowed
Accordingly, the head of government said "trips from one region to another are allowed" starting December 15. Furthermore, trips abroad are "possible" during the Holidays, "given travelers can undergo a PCR test 72 hours before they leave".
  • Lockdown exit strategy for places receiving public (museums, movie theaters, theaters, show venues)
Starting November 28, "libraries and archives, cultural stores" can reopen. Statring December 15, "museums, movie theaters, theaters" will be allowed to resume. "The same protocols instated during curfew" will be required Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot said. "Tolerance" will be shown to spectators "leaving the venue at 9 p.m. so that they can get back home serenely".
  • Restaurants and bars closed at least until January 20
"I confirm restaurants and bars will remain closed until January 20, this is a difficult but necessary decision" since he says those are a "high contamination place". Furthermore, he says 2021 will be "the year of the French gastronomy".
  • Driving schools can resume starting November 28
Driving schools can reopen too "in compliance with the health protocol" starting November 28, but only to prepare practical tests. Preparation to rules of the road can be completed from home.
  • Ski restors will remain closed for the Holidays, Castex confirms
As for ski resorts, "the situation cannot let us consider their reopening" for the Holidays, PM says. "It would be reckless to gather major flow of people". Thus, "ski lifts will remain close to the public".
  • New financial support for workers in precarious employment

A new financial aid is now available for workers in precarious employment: "900 euros per month starting November 1 and up to February 2021" Elisabeth Borne says. It also involves "restaurants additional employees, occasional event workers and other sectores listed at the [Job Center]".

  • Outdoor sporting activities for minors allowed from November 28, indoors and gyms from December 15

Practical information

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