France’s lockdown 2.0

The French president Emmanuel Macron announced a new lockdown for Friday the 30th of October. The new lockdown will start on today and will last till at least the first of December. ‘If we do nothing now we will have at least 400.000 new deaths between this and a couple of months.’, says Macron.

This decision came about after France reached more than 36.000 cases each day with about 244 people dying of the coronavirus on a daily basis. The total of cases France has seen has reached over a million. They are now at a total of 1,24 million cases and 35.785 reported deaths.

This lockdown means that people will need a certificate in order to go outside. This includes, doctor appointments, going to work or do your grocery as well as going out for a bit of fresh air.

‘The economy cannot come to a standstill, it cannot collapse.’, says Macron.

Bars, restaurants and non-essential businesses will close down. The president encourages restaurants to work with take-away. For the non-essential businesses there will be a 15-day re-evaluation. 

The difference between this lockdown and the first lockdown back in March is that elementary schools as well as high schools will stay open. The same goes for daycares, cemeteries and nursing/retirement homes.

Universities and colleges however will have to switch to online classes again. Teleworking will be the norm again.

The European borders will stay open, but whoever enters France will be subjected to a ‘quick’ test. Another noticeable difference between this lockdown and the first lockdown is that public services, factories and farms will be able to keep operating but with strict health protocols. 

Macron announced that the intensive care capacity will rise to about 10.000 beds.
‘The second wave is for sure more deadly than the first wave.’, says Macron.

Macron also spoke about the impossibility of other solutions such as group immunity as well as the protection of vulnerable people. ‘The virus moves too fast, faster then we initially thought.’

At the end of his speech Macron shared his hopes for the future in which he hopes that the French will be able to spend the holidays with their families.

In a conversation with Paul Viron who lives in France but moved to Belgium with his Belgian girlfriend before the lockdown. ‘I  haven’t seen my grandparents in over 7 months, since they live in the South of France.’ 

I completely understand the measures France is taking right now. ‘Look at how many cases we have, we cannot justify these deaths without having taken the proper measurements.’

Text: Helena Lundahl Photo: Flickr