What Does France’s Second Lockdown Look Like?

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

What Does France’s Second Lockdown Look Like?

Prime minister Jean Castex has robotically rolled out the conditions of France’s second confinement, which starts at midnight Thursday, October 29, and runs until Tuesday, December 1.  

Before making the announcement, he addressed this morning’s terrorist attack in Nice saying it was “an act that was “barbaric and cowardly and once again puts the entire country in mourning.”

The prime minister has elevated France’s national security alert system, Vigipirate, to the highest emergency attack level while the presence of military officers will be increased from 3,000 to 7,000 across the country.

Regarding Covid, he stated that the virus is “just as hard hitting across Europe, and no one predicted such a violent resurgence,” adding that most European countries are having to take restrictive measures.

He said this confinement is different from March as this time the government is better preserving the right to work and to education, but many of the original rules apply.

There are few reasons to leave the home: to go to work with an attestation from an employer, to walk the kids to school, for medical reasons or to access a public service. One hour of individual exercise within 1 kilometer from your residence will be permitted, and parks and beaches will remain open.

Traveling within France is limited and people must decide on whether to stay at their primary or secondary residence. There will be a tolerance this weekend for families returning from school holidays, but you still need to have an attestation (see interieur.gouv.fr).

EU borders will remain open, but travel outside the EU is not possible. Any person arriving in France must provide a negative virus result from within 72 hours or be tested on arrival.

This is a total confinement so no family or friends visiting during the day or on the weekend. Anyone not respecting the law will face a fine of €135 .

Except for universities, all schools will remain open with reinforced health protocol and students from the age 6 must now wear a mask. Since September, only 25 out of 61,500 (0.04%) schools have closed due to Covid, and only 293 classes, or 0.06%.

Hotels can remain open and public transport will run as normal. Churches will remain open but funerals will be limited to 30, and six for weddings.

Bars, restaurants, non-essential services and businesses, cinemas—everything you can think of (yes, hairdressers)—are closed. There is detailed information about the financial support available to all businesses at www.economie.gouv.fr/covid19-soutien-entreprises

The government will review the lockdown every two weeks to decide whether measures will be reduced or further reinforced. The president commented last night that confinement would last until mid-December or when daily cases currently at  50,000 per day are reduced to a more manageable 5,000.

Prince Albert is scheduled to speak at 8 p.m. this evening on Monaco Info and social media.

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

Nancy Heslin is an established journalist and lifestyle writer. She has been the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Monaco magazine (bimonthly in English) , since the magazine's 2nd issue . Launched in November 2018, Forbes Monaco is part of the Forbes family, with its 7 million readers and 71 million monthly website visitors worldwide.