In full containment, a food market could again take place on the Plainpalais plain from April 14. The news was released to the media on Wednesday morning by Willy Cretegny, president of the Geneva Market Association (AMG). Obviously taken aback by the announcement, the City wishes to clarify that nothing has yet been formally decided, but that it is analyzing the situation. “Information will take place on Thursday,” said Philippe Despine, spokesman for the Administrative Council.
According to Willy Cretegny, the future Plainpalais market will be held Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thirty merchants will be present every day. To respect the safety distances imposed since the start of the epidemic, the stands will be placed every six meters and barriers will delimit the customer area, in which a maximum of two people will be admitted. “The merchants will have to respect these hygiene measures at the risk of being expelled,” insists the president of the AMG. Volunteer firefighters will also be on hand to remind buyers of the rules. ”
The City neither confirms nor denies the words of Willy Cretegny. Mauro Poggia, state councilor responsible for the Department of Security, Employment and Health, said he had received a proposal from the city on this subject. He said that the Council of State will examine the content during its meeting this Thursday at the earliest.
“The reopening of a market would go against ordinance 2 Covid-19, which prohibits markets and authorizes only isolated stands”, says Yann Hulmann, spokesman for the Federal Office of Health public (OFSP). According to him, the six meters provided between each producer are not enough to “isolate” the stalls. As a reminder, on March 16, the Federal Council had decided to remove these outside sales outlets to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
In early April, the City of La Chaux-de-Fonds opened a breach by announcing the partial reopening of its market. The option chosen is that of a scattering of stands in the city. Nine sites spread over five sites welcome producers. The news did not escape Willy Cretegny who has campaigned since mid-March against federal measures.
In addition to the reluctance of Bern, the project defended by the president of the AMG has what to surprise in the current context. For three weeks, the political and health authorities of the Canton have been hammering the Genevans to stay confined to avoid an outbreak of cases. The Federal Council has also announced that the measures will be extended until April 26. Will the decision to reopen a market, if taken, risk blurring the message at a crucial time in the epidemic? “It could be interpreted that way, which would be wrong, because the same conditions as those imposed on large surfaces should apply,” notes Mauro Poggia.
“It would be a mistake”
Antoine Flahault, director of the Institute of Global Health at the University of Geneva, is more critical: “It would be a mistake to reopen a market too early, which by definition is a place of intermingling and contact of the population. The signal given would be that of the start of deconfinement and this signal cannot be given today. Containment is a transient brake. If you put the brake on, the epidemic starts up again. “
Professor Didier Pittet, head of the Infection prevention and control service at the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), believes that “it would be a shame to spoil everything now”. He insists that the authorities, if they respond favorably, be extremely vigilant about the way in which access to the stands and the behavior of customers are controlled.
In Annemasse, very strict rules have been laid down. The window between 8:00 am and 8:30 am is reserved for vulnerable people and access to the market is limited to 30 people. Each client must rub hands with hydroalcoholic solution at the entrance to the perimeter and not touch the products. The municipal police filter the entrances.
Created: 08.04.2020, 8:35 p.m.