End of curfew: why has the French government opted for June the 2nd?

Published by Cécile D. · Photos by My B. · Published on 29 April 2021 at 11h34
It is official, the nationwide curfew is to end on June 2 after being instated in France for over eight months. This date has not been randomly selected: it actually meets legal imperatives. Keep reading to find out more.

The issue was on the agenda for a while: how long was curfew for and under what conditions? As the days are growing longer and lockdown exit is pending, French people were more and more annoyed by this major restriction instated for already over six months.

At the beginning of the week, Emmanuel Macron suggested curfew could be eased or even delayed to provide a greater freedom of movement to citizens. Then, this Wednesday April 28, Jean Castex told the press the surprising news: curfew is to end this June 2.

Visuel Paris Arc de Triomphe Champs Elysées nuitVisuel Paris Arc de Triomphe Champs Elysées nuitVisuel Paris Arc de Triomphe Champs Elysées nuitVisuel Paris Arc de Triomphe Champs Elysées nuit Nationwide curfew to end on June 2, what does it mean?
This is now official, the end of curfew from 11 p.m. - initially expected to end on June 30 - is moved to Sunday June 20, 2021. Starting from this Sunday, French are allowed to get out by night without derogatory trip certificate. Outdoor facemask-wearing is no longer mandatory starting from Thursday June 17, 2021. [Read more]

Why such a change in the situation? And first and foremost, why this date when lockdown exit starts from mid-May? BFMTV reveals the executive did not have the choice and can no longer indefinitely increase curfew.

Curfew is currently allowed in France because the country is in health emergency. This exceptional measure has been extended to June 1, during the latest vote this past February 9. Yet, deputies and senators told the government the health emergency could not last longer, saying this measure was anti-democratic.

Asking the Parliament to vote again for extending the health emergency and curfew would have been very difficult for the government that would certainly have hit a brick wall because of the wrath of legislators reproaching Emmanuel Macron to hanging on this regime granting him many exceptional powers.

Therefore, curfew is to end on June 2, right after the end of the health emergency. The Prime Minister’s office yet told BFMTV the French President can “modify or stop curfew at any time” before June 2.

This health emergency yet cannot stop overnight. It has been decided a transitory period will take place from June 2 to October 31, a period France is expected to no longer live with curfew.

Yet, if the Covid-19 epidemic surges again and once again becomes out of control, the government can reinstate dramatic controlling measures. These measures will not be similar to those the country has experienced already: only 10% of the population could be placed in curfew and for maximum one month. The extension of these restrictions will be subject to a vote of the Parliament.

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