why certain events are allowed and others are not

Why does the Disney Land amusement park remain open while the Paris half-marathon could not be held? Why are Ligue 1 matches kept when France’s biggest literary event is canceled? The apparent lack of homogeneity in the measures to ban gatherings is debated, fueling false information and mistrust vis-à-vis the authorities. Le Figaro takes stock of the criteria and reasons used by the public authorities to prohibit certain events.

As “clusters” – spaces where at least two cases of Covid-19 are listed in the same place – are increasing in France, the government announced last weekend measures to stem the spread of the virus. Between the canceled concerts, the maintained matches and a market evacuated a few meters from a supermarket remaining open, the French have reasons to wonder about the criteria retained by the authorities.

First of all, you should know that certain measures specific to stage 1 (when the virus does not circulate inside the territory), such as the fortnight upon return from a risk zone, have been abolished because they do not correspond more to the mode of transmission of the virus. Indeed, it is now present in various places in France.

The Stage 2 measures, currently in force, are more restrictive. Across the country, gatherings of 5,000 people in confined spaces are completely prohibited. A measure which mainly targets concerts and shows and concerns a hundred or so halls in France, according to Prodiss, the national union for musical and variety shows. The entrepreneurs of the show are also the first worried about the organization of their activity and the lack of clarity surrounding the prohibitions. However, the threshold of 5000 places is not always reached, which can explain for example that the concert of Matt Pokora at the Zenith in Paris is canceled while that of Claude Capéo on March 14 is, for the moment, still of news.

In the department of Oise, the first focus of infection, all collective gatherings are prohibited “until further notice“. In this case, it is not only a grouping of 5000 people but “all public eventsExplains to Figaro the Directorate General of Health. “Even weddings“Are banned, said government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye at the microphone. USAinformations on Monday. In summary, the prohibition of all public events, whatever their nature, applies in all the “clusters” identified.

Case-by-case decisions

Precise criteria, therefore, which are however accompanied by case-by-case assessments:prefects can also cancel gatherings, including in an open environment when they lead to mixtures with people from areas where the virus is possibly circulating“, Specifies the General Directorate of Health (DGS) to Figaro.

This is how the government justifies that the Lyon-Saint-Etienne match and other league 1 matches have been maintained, while the Paris half-marathon has been canceled by prefectural decree. “One in five came from abroad for the marathon“Said the Minister of Health on BFMTV. Either a favorable condition for the mixing of populations. “In addition, the start of a marathon is a time of confinement. The runners rub shoulders for several kilometers, they spit, they cough, and can thus release the virus“, He detailed. While during a match “people sit in the stands and can practice barrier gesturesThat is, coughing in your elbow or avoiding physical contact. “The meeting took place in a region where the virus does not circulate, except for a cluster in Haute-Savoie“Justified Sibeth Ndiaye, government spokesperson, at the microphone of USAinformations. As for the opening of Disneyland, “certainly the people in the queues can be confined but here too they can apply the protective gestures“Defended Olivier Véran.

Arbitration on a case-by-case basis, therefore, which explains that an outdoor event was prohibited in Paris, a city which is however not considered to be at risk. Even if the measures are officially much more drastic in the regions where the virus circulates, the final assessment is left to the prefect and the mayor.

Protests against pension reform maintained

What about the demonstrations and rallies against 49-3 that were able to take place on Monday and Tuesday? “The demonstrations planned in Paris in the coming days are not currently affected by ban measures“Replied the Figaro the Paris police headquarters. If one bases oneself on the measures which apply on all the territory – no regrouping of 5000 people in confined places – the demonstrations have a priori no reason to be prohibited in the state. Unless they take place in the city of a cluster, or close. Especially since it is impossible to predict the number of participants. On the other hand, if there is a suspicion as to the rallying of people coming from zones at risk, the authorities could decide if necessary to ban the demonstrations.

France had this Tuesday March 3 at the end of the day 204 people diagnosed positive for the coronavirus, including four deceased, in 12 regions, five of which have more than ten cases. The main centers are Haute-Savoie, Oise and Morbihan.


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