Crucial week, difficult decisions… So is the complicated pace political females and males are complying with. Less than two weeks after implementing curfew from 6 p.m. everywhere in France to fight against the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic, the French President and his closest coworkers are to decided – during the defense council on Wednesday January 27, 2021 – on a likely third lockdown to quickly implement in the country.
Even though a new lockdown is obvious to epidemiologists, doctors and members of the Scientific Committee – given the health context – the executive yet intends to assess the state of the pandemic in France before making a decision. And for good reason: President Macron and his ministers are to make tough calls – without having all cards in hands. So far, the outcome of curfew from 6 p.m. are not yet visible in the epidemic data.
By the way, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Monday that “decisions will be made this week, it is not about letting our guard down”. Careful not to decide too soon on such a delicate matter: backstage, Emmanuel Macron’s entourage repeats to the AFP that “nothing has been decided yet” as for a third lockdown, and for now, the president is still trying to “find the right balance”. Anyway, no matter the seriousness of split, there definitely are communication mistakes…
Anyway, if a new lockdown truly is decided on by the government, a debate, followed by a vote, would be held at the National Assembly and the Senate in early February. At least, this is what Prime Minister Castex said on Thursday Januayr 28, 2021 - according to BFMTV.
The government has been consulting union trades, party leaders for a few days and preparing the French to new dramatic measures. As shows by the press conference held this Thursday afternoon by Olivier Véran who - even though no new announce has been made - has started to prepare the French to this possibility, giving data of this pandemic.
Still backstage at the Elysée palace, another adviser of the president told Le Monde that “data shall show the necessity” of a nationwide and new lockdown. Scenarios of a status quo or a lockdown like in Fall or Spring 2020 are still being discussed.
Health Minister Olivier Véran rather sums up the situation as follows: “We are at the crossroads. Whether we can control the epidemic, or we can’t. Today, data are not increasing thanks to curfew” he explains. It is understandable why the minister thinks that instating another lockdown can wait.
Besides, some ministers are already excluding the worst. In an interview with Journal du Dimanche, minister of the national education Jean-Michel Blanquer does not seek to hide his will to keep on-site schooling. “School remains essential for our children” the minister says. Closing schools to fight against the virus? “Thinkable in the event of absolute necessity” the former ESSEC director says. So far, the French are expecting governmental decisions this Wednesday.