Coronavirus: has the curfew been effective in France?

Published by Rizhlaine F. · Photos by Laurent P. · Published on 30 December 2020 at 17h22 · Updated on 31 December 2020 at 14h43
Since lockdown has been lifted, the French have swapped the lockdown derogatory trip certificate for curfew certificate. From this point forward, people have to stay home between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. A familiar measure for some French who already experienced this measure back to October 2020. But has it been really effective?

Everybody home at 8 p.m.! Since December 15, 2020 – when lockdown ended – France has to comply with curfew until 6 a.m. A measure that is said to be instated at least until January 20, 2021. But for some French, the situation looks familiar already.

And for good reason, in October 2020, several areas in France have been concerned by curfew. This restriction had been set up in places where the situation was the most preoccupying in order to curb the second epidemic wave and to try and avoid a new nationwide lockdown. Nonetheless, France could not avoid this dramatic measure.

Curfew has been instated since lockdown was lifted. But how was the October 2020’s curfew? Has it been effective enough? Several scientists from Santé Publique France have studied the matter and shared their results this Thursday December 17.

The analysis focuses on the evolution of the indicators within 22 main cities in France scattered in three groups. The first one includes cities that experienced curfew from October 17: Paris, Aix-Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, Grenoble, Montpellier, Rouen and Saint-Etienne. The second group includes cities where it has been implemented from October 24: Strasbourg, Orleans, Nice, Dijon, Nancy, Clermont, Rennes, Toulon and Tours. The last group includes cities that did not implement curfew in October: Bordeaux, Brest, Metz, and Nantes.

According to this study, the epidemic evolution slowed down earlier in the first cities to have complied with curfew, naming the group from October 17, 2020. For the later, contaminations peaked on October 27, that is to say 10 days after the measure was instated. Yet, for the group from October 24, 2020 and the curfew-less group, cases peaked almost at the same time, between November 2 and 3, 2020. Once the peak passed, the group from October 17, 2020 reported a sharper decrease.

This group has also been the first one to experience a decrease in in-hospital because of Covid, closely followed by the October 24 group. The curfew-less group yet experienced a plateau and stagnated for around two weeks.

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