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The noose around the French should loosen

While the country is hoping for a breath of fresh air as the Christmas holidays approach, Emmanuel Macron is expected to announce this Tuesday a partial lifting of the measures put in place since the end of October and set a new course to follow in the health crisis.

While the country is hoping for a breath of fresh air as the Christmas holidays approach, Emmanuel Macron is expected to announce this Tuesday a partial lifting of the measures put in place since the end of October and set a new course to follow in the health crisis.

(AFP) – The scenario is now well oiled: the head of state has convened a defense council, which ended shortly before noon, to make a final point of the covid-19 epidemic before slicing the decisions that he will announce on television in the evening.

There is no doubt that the French, affected by the confinement, will be there again, after the summits reached by his speeches which, for the most important, gathered more than 30 million viewers. This time, the uncertainty is less great because the general framework of the announcements is already known: the reduction of the constraints will be done in three phases: around December 1, then before the Christmas holidays and finally at the beginning of 2021.

The announcements will only allow a “slight easing of confinement”, warned Prime Minister Jean Castex, stressing that, if it improved, the health situation remained worse than it was at the deconfinement of May 11. . For the Head of State, the main thing is to give “consistency, clarity, a course” to “know together where we are going and how to get there”.

“We expect the President to have prospects because society is terribly depressed,” ecologist Yannick Jadot said Tuesday on Europe 1. We will also need “vision”, claimed Laurent Berger (CFDT) on France 2, who fears that “The pressure cooker” does not explode in view of the economic and social situation. “The anger is there”, added Philippe Martinez (CGT) by evoking “dramatic situations: young people, precariousness but also all these employees with partial unemployment”.

New Years Eve “covid factories”

The cautious message Macron is expected to deliver echoes that of most leaders of major European countries, such as Britain’s Boris Johnson who warned on Monday that the restrictions would have to remain in place for several months.

Like their neighbors, the French would like to be set on vacation: will they be able to travel and reunite with their family? Probably, but with limits, a possible curfew and a call for accountability. New Years’ Eve “are covid factories,” Castex warned. In Germany, the regions pleaded on Tuesday to limit the number of participants in the Christmas and New Year celebrations to ten people from several households.

In the meantime, Macron will lift the constraints on Christmas shopping by reopening so-called “non-essential” businesses such as bookstores or clothing stores. This reopening could take place as early as this weekend but with a reinforced health protocol. Places of worship should also reopen, with the respect of a gauge, while uncertainty remains for cinemas, theaters and museums.

Castex, on the other hand, dampened the hopes of cafes and restaurants to reopen around December 1. “We can’t”, he regretted Saturday, saying he hoped “to give them visibility and support them”. If the travel certificate should be kept, the uncertainty remains on maintaining the limit of a perimeter of one kilometer for travel.

“All together”

The curfew and then the four weeks of confinement made it possible to slow the circulation of the virus this fall and to cross the epidemic peak of the second wave. With 4,452 new cases detected in 24 hours on Monday, this is the first time that this figure has dropped below the 5,000 daily case mark since September 28.

Beyond the measures related to confinement, Macron is expected to have a better strategy for screening the population, after the failure of the triptych “test, trace, isolate” at the end of the first confinement. This is what the France Assos Santé collective demanded on Tuesday, which brings together 85 health user associations, in a column published by Le Parisien and entitled “All together, let’s avoid a new confinement!”.

He pleads in particular for “the establishment of a complete restriction of movement and visit” for positive people and their contact cases. Another challenge for the Head of State: reassure the French about the future vaccination campaign that is emerging after the progress made by at least three vaccines. After the failures on the masks and the tests, the executive knows that it cannot fail on the subject, especially as the polls show a population skeptical about the interest of being vaccinated.


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