Coronavirus in Île-de-France: strengthened lockdown starting this week?

Published by Rizhlaine F. · Photos by Rizhlaine F. · Published on 29 March 2021 at 11h32
Faced with the coronavirus epidemic, the situation is deteriorating in Île-de-France. Between the soon saturation in hospitals and the increase in the incidence rate, might the Paris area see lockdown strengthened this week? Here is what we know so far.

The situation is deteriorating in Île-de-France. In the area, the UK variant – 70% more transmissible than the historic strain – is now dominating. The Paris region experiences strong increase in the incidence rate and Île-de-France hospitals sound the alarm. As a new Health Defense Council is scheduled this Wednesday March 31, 2021, might Île-de-France see lockdown strengthened this week?

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Since March 20, 2021, the Paris area has been experiencing a softer lockdown: trips without derogatory trip certificates are allowed within a 10-km around your house without time limit. Furthermore, after moving to summertime, curfew has been postponed for one hour. Yet, gatherings over six people and outside are banned and could be fined. As for schools, they are still open, and for companies, working from home remains standard.

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More and more people have been calling for strengthened measures and for good reason, as of March 27, 2021 all Île-de-France departments – excluding Hauts-de-Seine (507.3) display the highest incidence rates in France. At the top sits Seine-Saint-Denis with 777 cases for 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Val d’Oise with 774.8 cases for 100,00 inhabitants. Then come Seine-et-Marne (675.8), Val-de-Marne (664.3), Paris (575.1), Essonne (571.2), and Yvelines (542.7). Note the impacts of restrictions can only be assessed at least two weeks after being instated.

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A difficult period is coming up within Île-de-France hospitals. As 80% of the non-Covid activity is cancelled – in order to attend patients with severe coronavirus – AP-HP crisis directors affirm that within two weeks, they will be overwhelmed. For the first time in France, doctors might have to sort ICU Covid and non-Covid patients out. A situation leading to an increase in the death toll.

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And what about schools? The increasing contamination toll in youth is also worrying. The health protocol in schools is to be reinforced: starting Monday March 29, 2021 in the 19 departments in lockdown, schools are to close as soon as one coronavirus case is proven. Île-de-France region president Valérie Pécresse urged to bring school break forward to try and curb the epidemic. a measure that is not considered so far. President Emmanuel Macron has reminded the general closure of schools can only occur as a last resort.

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What is the health protocol in schools, junior high schools, and high schools starting from September 2021? This July 28, 2021, the Minister of the National Education addressed the issue, unveiling the "health framework" instated in schooles and classes starting from Thursday September 2, when school starts again. Compulsory facemask indoor, classes closed only in elementary schools and vaccination non compulsory for teachers; keep reading to find out more. [Read more]

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