The government is planning a longer and stricter lockdown, until the end of the year if need be. Even though no minister has addressed the issue, casting hope to “celebrate Christmas as normally as possible” with one’s family, pragmatic, the Minister of the Economy has amended the finance bill for 2020 with an extra 20-billion-euro envelop.
This extra budget has been added to “let the possibility to the State to face the worst hypothesis, even though, we don’t want it”, deputy minister for the Public Accounts Olivier Dussopt says.
The government seems to have a watchword not to discourage the French and remind them the importance of complying with lockdown. During his press brief, Olivier Véran – along with Health director general Jérôme Salomon – has called the French to “pull [themselves] together” and “keep fighting” to resist “bitterness, fatigue and legitimate weariness”.
But when more precise questions are asked, as for the purchase of train tickets for instance, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari cleverly answers “anyway, train or plane tickets you but today are refundable and exchangeable without extra charges”.
As for storekeepers, they are crying for help and ask to reopen from November 12, as one can read in the JDD, because they had to close. A 10,000-euro grant is proposed and Bercy promises them that click&collect sales will not decrease the aid.
According to an IFOP-Nocom survey led the day following the announcement of the new lockdown on October 29, 53% of the surveyed bet on an extension of the so-called lockdown up to mid-December and 35% after the Holidays. Even better, 71% of them said they were “ready to take it”.
One shall stay confined until the second wave has passed. And then? According to Olivier Véran, “both for feasibility reasons and for solidarity between generations reasons […] [self-isolating elderly people] is no solution we have retained and will retain”. “Controlling measures” of people that tested positive for Covid-19, to make sure they respect their self-isolating period and do not spread the virus, “justifies a democratic debate”.
Either way, Santa Claus will swing by during the night between December 24 and 25.