After Lille, Marseille and Bordeaux, the government is preparing minds for a hardening of health constraints in several territories in the face of the rebound of the Covid-19 epidemic, while the French are showing their skepticism about its strategy.
The Minister of Health Olivier Véran will again go to the front line Thursday at 5 p.m. to defend and detail the anti-Covid policy, in a press briefing which will again become weekly.
He will make “a clear educational presentation of the strategy” of the government “to live with the virus”, explained the spokesman of the government Gabriel Attal at the end of a council of ministers again dominated by the management of the pandemic .
Olivier Véran should in particular list the territories where contamination is increasing and which could be subject to health restrictions.
Among the metropolitan areas in the sights could be the city of Lyon, the Rhône department with an incidence rate of 168 cases per 100,000, the second largest in the metropolis after Bouches-du-Rhône.
Overall, France is seeing an increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations. Almost 8,000 new cases were recorded on Monday, as in recent days and over the last seven days 2,713 patients were hospitalized and 479 admitted to intensive care.
The government must respond not only to this rebound but also to overcome the growing mistrust of the population. Nearly one in two French people find that the executive does not “take enough precautions and 62% do not” trust “it to fight the epidemic, 6 points more than at the end of August, reveals an Elabe poll for BFMTV .
Among the points criticized is the Stopcovid application which, admitted Mr. Attal, has “not found its audience”, with less than 3 million downloads. The priority to tests for those who have the application, mentioned in the press, is “not on the agenda,” he added.
To speed up the detection of cases, the government has just authorized rapid “antigenic” tests.
– “To anticipate” –
The return to school and university remains at high risk. 81 schools and a little over 2,100 classes have been closed since the start of the school year. But this only represents “0.13%” of some 60,000 schools in the country, “said Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer, who notes about” 1,200 new cases of students compared to the previous week ” .
In application of the new “territorialized” strategy, any new anti-Covid measure will be announced on site by the prefect, after consultation with local elected officials, in order to avoid accusations of vertical decisions taken from Paris.
The state will keep its exceptional powers to restrict gatherings and travel, the Council of Ministers having adopted a bill on Wednesday which extends these authorizations by six months, until April 2021.
“Given the health situation, it is necessary to anticipate and give us all the tools to continue fighting the epidemic,” explained Gabriel Attal.
It is this device that made it possible to announce on Monday more restrictive measures in the Bouches-du-Rhône, the North and the Gironde, which relate to the prohibition of dance evenings in bars or student parties, of the suspension school trips or limiting gatherings in parks and beaches.
But the government wants to do everything to avoid a new confinement and a new stop in economic life. Anxious to show that we must learn to “live with the virus”, Emmanuel Macron was keen to respect the tradition of following a stage of the Tour de France, by assisting on Wednesday at the end of the 17th stage which ends at the Col de la Loze , above the station of Méribel (Savoie).
The epidemic continues to accelerate in many countries, especially in Europe. The region of Madrid, epicenter of the rebound in Spain, plans to contain the areas most affected. Poland suspends from September 16 air links with France, which joins a list of thirty countries put by Warsaw in the red list.