Christmas, shops, travel … Emmanuel Macron’s arbitration is expected this week on serious questions, while impatience rises for a reduction in the constraints imposed on the French to face the second wave of Covid-19.
The epidemic peak seems to have been crossed, the president promises to use his televised address on Tuesday at 8 p.m. to bring “clarity” and “a course” on the health crisis.
“Nothing is worse than uncertainty and the impression of endless gloom”, assures Emmanuel Macron to the Journal du Dimanche: “We need consistency, clarity, a course. Knowing together where we are going and how to get there”.
“It’s difficult, because the pandemic is inherently unpredictable and global,” he explains, “but it’s the key to trust, which itself is the key to success.”
According to Mr. Macron, “there is no inevitability. Crises can be, in the end, accelerators of progress. We must be at the rendezvous of history. And France has all the assets for it. ‘be”.
As at every stage since the first confinement in March, the Head of State will have to decide by striving to reconcile the imperatives of health protection and those of the economy, not to mention the morale of the population increasingly affected by long months of “normal” life put in parentheses.
And if the executive has said and repeated in recent days that deconfinement was excluded at this stage, Emmanuel Macron is preparing to loosen the screw on Tuesday.
The “flexibilities (…) will be carried out in three stages with regard to health trends and the risks associated with certain activities: first around December 1, then before the end of year holidays, then from January 2021, “government spokesman Gabriel Attal told JDD.
Concretely, the reopening of shops is planned “around December 1”, with adapted protocols. But “some establishments, such as bars and restaurants, will continue to experience restrictions.” In addition, the travel certificate will remain in force.
What about cinemas and theaters, gyms, ski resorts?
The positions taken from these sectors have multiplied in recent days to draw the attention of the executive to their difficulties, while the criticism of the oppositions was mounting.
“French society is buzzing with anger, incomprehension and even humiliation in the face of an executive who takes refuge behind the health risk to impose rules of prohibition often incomprehensible and incoherent”, denounced Saturday about twenty deputies The Republicans in a tribune at the Atlantico site.
The socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, points out for her part an “excess of centralism”, and an error regarding the closure of bookstores.
After being received Friday by Prime Minister Jean Castex, opposition leaders expressed their impression – to complain about it – that everything was hanging on the lonely decision of the president, symbolized by the “health defense councils” that ‘he now chairs every week.
A posture that does not harm Emmanuel Macron for the moment, whose popularity is increasing in a series of polls.
The head of state, who has explained since the start of the school year that it will be necessary to learn to live sustainably with the coronavirus, should also outline his vaccine strategy on Tuesday.
According to Gabriel Attal, France has already signed three contracts with laboratories, has “at least three others very advanced, and others in discussion”, with “on average 30 million doses per contract”.
In the JDD, the spokesperson also considers “interesting”, “on a personal basis”, the possibility of making compulsory the isolation of positive cases and contact cases. “Many of our neighbors have done it and I hear French people who feel they are undergoing constraints that could be alleviated if we concentrate efforts on the chains of contamination”, he argues.
Nearly 300 Covid-19 patients have died in the past 24 hours, but the number of intensive care patients continues to decline for the 5th consecutive day, according to official statistics released on Saturday. More than 48,500 people in France have died from the coronavirus since the start of the epidemic.