As the coronavirus epidemic is slowing down in France and vaccination opens to a wider target, lockdown exit goes on. May 19th is a key date: the second step of the easing of restrictions. Starting from this Wednesday, the French can reunite with their lives from before especially with the reopening of terraces, cultural places, non-necessary stores, as well as curfew moved to 9 p.m.
But is it too soon to exit lockdown? While some doctors condemn this lockdown exit to be more political than health-oriented, others like Rémi Salomon think on the contrary the lifting of restrictions and especially the reopening of terraces is good as they could limit indoor interactions.
According to Health Director General Jérôme Salomon, this lockdown exit step makes it at the right time. In an interview with Journal du Dimanche, he is optimistic, but yet calls for prudence. Although the epidemic is decreasing, indicators remain high with 16,000 new infections per day. For the record, the threshold of the second lockdown exit was initially set below 5,000 new cases per day to allow reopenings.
A reproduction rate below 0.8, the arrival of warmer weather, and of course the vaccination campaign are reasons explaining Jérôme Salomon’s optimism. But he remains cautious: the incidence rate is still high in about twenty departments, above 200 cases for 100,000 inhabitants, and even above 250 in Île-de-France.