To deal with the second wave of the Covid-19 epidemic, the executive has brought down the curfew card. The President of the Republic announced this measure for the Ile-de-France region and eight metropolises, Wednesday October 14, during an interview on TF1 and France 2. It will apply from Saturday October 17.
>> DIRECT. Coronavirus: follow the reactions and latest information after the curfew announcements by Emmanuel Macron
The curfew aims in particular to limit private moments of conviviality, considered as “acceleration vectors” virus. Francefinfo comes back in five questions on this restriction which must last at least four weeks.
How were the areas chosen?
Ile-de-France, the metropolitan areas of Lille, Grenoble, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen, Toulouse and Saint-Etienne are the areas most affected by the resumption of the epidemic since the start of the school year. They are also very densely populated. Thus, this curfew will affect around 20 million people.
“The objective is to be able to continue to have an economic life, that schools, high schools and universities are open, that our fellow citizens can work completely normally and that there can be a social life”, even restricted, explained Emmanuel Macron.
In the spring, several municipalities, including Nice, as well as Guyana, had established temporary curfews.
What is the legal framework for this curfew?
It is backed by the establishment of “state of health emergency”, an exceptional regime created on the occasion of the coronavirus epidemic, and applied from March 23, 2020 to July 10, 2020 on the majority of the territory, and until September 17 for Guyana and Mayotte. If it will come into force again this weekend, it can only be declared for one month and on the basis of very degraded health indicators. After this period, it is only extended with the agreement of the National Assembly and the Senate, which set its duration, informed by an opinion from the Scientific Council on the epidemic situation.
Once pronounced, the state of health emergency offers a whole range of tools to the government to close establishments open to the public, to regulate, or even to ban gatherings and movements, until total containment.
“The sliders can be pushed to their maximum and can also be differentiated” , according to the circulation of the virus, explains the rapporteur of text “organizing the end of the state of health emergency “, LREM deputy Marie Guévenoux. Thus, if the state of health emergency is indeed decreed throughout the national territory, the department prefects will be able to choose which provisions to apply, depending on of the health situation.
How long should it last?
Since it leans against the state of health emergency, this curfew will last at least “four weeks”, warned the head of state. However, the latter wants the government to surrender “in Parliament to be able to try to extend it until December 1”. This measure will therefore probably last six weeks. “This is the time that seems useful to us”, said Emmanuel Macron.
The aim is to ensure that “the 20,000 new cases per day” come back to “3,000 cases, 5,000 cases per day”, and that patients with Covid-19 now represent only “10% to 15%” places in intensive care, against “32%” today.
In addition, if within two weeks the curfew does not begin to bear fruit in the areas concerned, review clauses may be considered, the political service of France Televisions learned from the executive on Wednesday evening. . In this case, an advanced curfew at 8 p.m. or even 7 p.m. could be implemented.
What controls and penalties are planned?
As with not wearing a mask, failure to comply with the curfew will be penalized with a fine of 135 euros. “There will be checks and fines (…) with 1,500 euros in the event of a repeat offense. Everyone must be aware of the risks and issues. The French have been exemplary during confinement, because they understood that this ‘was to protect the most fragile and caregivers. If we do not want to take harsher measures in 15 days or a month there will be checks “, he said.
Emmanuel Macron added that the police forces will be mobilized “proportionately” and “locally”.
What will be the exceptions?
The President of the Republic however indicated that there would be exceptions, to go or return from work or in case of emergency. In areas where the curfew is in effect, it will therefore be necessary to be at home by 9 p.m. Saturday, and cinemas, theaters, restaurants and other businesses “will close for that hour”, said Emmanuel Macron. However, as during confinement, exceptions will be possible.
This is particularly the case “for all those who come home from work after 9 pm or who work at night” or “for all those who will have a health emergency”. “There will be no traffic ban but a strict limitation” at curfew hours, summed up the president.
A press conference by Prime Minister Jean Castex and ministers will take place on Thursday to unveil the “details” of these authorizations, said Emmanuel Macron.
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