Paris – Deconfinement, but not for everyone: France emerged from a second confinement on Tuesday, replaced by a night curfew since 8:00 p.m., but restaurants and cultural places must remain closed because of an epidemic which we do not not see the end.
We cannot “guarantee” that the cafes, bars and restaurants “will reopen on January 20,” warned Jean Castex on Tuesday morning on Europe 1.
“It will depend on how we have spent the holiday season” which may “be conducive to an accelerated circulation” of the virus if “we were not collectively responsible”, added the Prime Minister.
Ditto for culture: the health “results” are “not yet at the rendezvous” for a recovery. “The cultural exception is not the health exception,” summed up the Prime Minister.
A speech hardly audible by the two sectors.
Some 3,500 professionals from the world of culture demonstrated in Paris, Place de la Bastille and other gatherings took place elsewhere in France.
“It’s a disaster, it’s been six months that I no longer work,” Martin, a 27-year-old intermittent worker, told AFP. “Theaters are also cautious about making us work because political decisions are constantly changing. What is happening is a killing.”
“I am prevented from exercising my art and I am unhappy about it. I need the public, to feel them happy. If I cannot act then I am useless …”, launched the actor François Morel in front of several dozen people gathered in the evening in front of the Atelier theater in Montmartre.
This fight is also carried out in front of the courts: five Parisian theaters seized in urgency Tuesday evening the Council of State via a “freedom summary”, an emergency procedure. Others should follow, especially from film professionals.
– Skip school –
In an attempt to calm the discontent, Mr. Castex confirmed that an “extension of 35 million euros” would be granted to the culture sector and that a review of the situation would take place on January 7.
On the hotel and catering side, several thousand professionals gathered in Paris on Monday to shout “Let us work”.
Restaurant owners dispute the fact that their establishments are important places of contamination. Jean Castex however assured that a scientific study carried out in France was going to be published soon, and that it confirmed that “restaurants and cafes” were indeed places where one is contaminated.
Nothing changes for restaurants and culture, but the French can once again move everywhere and without certification, after a month and a half of restrictions.
The health crisis is far from over, however. Consequence: a curfew has taken over the confinement.
In front of the Saint Lazare station in Paris, many people hurried on at 7.30pm to take the last trains to the suburbs before the new ax.
“I’m going home to Blanc Mesnil. I’m going to take the RER E then the B. I will maybe arrive at 8:10 pm .. I hope there will be no control at the exit of the station”, worried Nacera Boufadene, sales assistant.
Sébastien, in his forties, was returning home to Bois Colombe, without anxiety: “I will not be home at 8 p.m. But if there are as few checks as during confinement, that will be fine!”
The only exception to the curfew: travel will be authorized during Christmas night, although French people are recommended not to meet with more than six adults. On the other hand, you will have to stay at home on the evening of the 31st.
To limit the risks of contamination before the holidays which begin on Saturday, Jean Castex suggested that children who can do not go to school Thursday and Friday, taking up an idea from the Scientific Council which guides the government.
“The absences of those who would like to confine themselves 7 days before reuniting with their families will be tolerated. These absences must be notified in advance to the establishment,” said Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer.
– Tests or not? –
Beyond the school, the Scientific Council recommends “self-containment” for a week to those who wish to spend holidays with the family, that is to say take holidays or telework seven days before the 24th or the 31st. December.
As for the tests, they must be done if one is “symptomatic”, to know whether to isolate oneself, recalls the Scientific Council.
For the past week, there has been an average of 12,000 new positive cases each day, well beyond the target of 5,000 daily cases set by the executive. As of Tuesday, that figure rose to 11,500 cases again.
The number of patients in intensive care was 2,871 on Tuesday, against 2,896 on Monday. And hospitals had 25,207 patients with Covid-19, (242 less than the day before).
Since the start of the epidemic, 59,072 people have lost their lives there.
To turn the page on the crisis, the world is counting on vaccines. The most advanced of these, that of Pfizer-BioNTech, has already started to be administered in the United Kingdom or the United States. In Europe, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will meet on December 21 to decide on its authorization.
Before that, the French government will present its vaccination strategy to the Assembly on Wednesday and to the Senate on Thursday.
“There will need a lot of transparency, clarity, details, on the doses, the routing” and “who can vaccinate” claimed the Socialist deputy Boris Vallaud, who has the feeling that France “is lagging behind “.