After a last-minute meeting with the defense council Friday evening, prime minister Jean Castex announced that France was on borrowed time from a lockdown, but that “we can still give ourselves a chance to avoid it.”
Following 48 hours of reports of a looming “hybrid” lockdown, reconfinement is not in the country’s immediate future. For the moment, the government has unveiled alternative measures to fight against Covid and its variants but the next few days remain “decisive.” The number of cases are steady around 23,000 per day with a stable positivity rate of 7%. Friday, hospital and ICU admissions dropped slightly over the last few days.
From Sunday midnight, travel between France and countries outside the EU (including the U.K.) will be banned “except for compelling reasons” while within the EU, any entry into France will be conditional on providing a PCR test, except for cross-border workers.
The PM stated the 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew will be reinforced, in particular concerning underground parties and the “illegal opening” of restaurants.
On Monday, a meeting will take place to discuss new work-from-home rules but the prime minister has urged companies and employees to use remote working as much as possible.
Castex also declared the closure of large shopping malls. “Non-food shopping centers, with an area greater than 20,000 square meters, that is to say those which promote the most mixing of populations, will be closed from Monday,” he said.
In the Alpes-Maritimes, this concerns Cap3000 (135,000 sqm) and most likely Polygone Riviera (70,000 sqm) although it is partly outdoors. Nicétoile (19,600 sqm) will remain open.
France has suspended its vaccination campaign from February 2 due to a supply shortage. To date, 1,234,731 people have received their first shot but only 11,739 have had the second jab.
In Monaco, 4,000 people (11% of the population) had received the vaccination by last Monday. Forbes Monaco has reached out to the government to clarify whether this number reflects both injections or only the first jab.
On Friday, 27 new positive cases were reported with the country’s twelfth Covid death confirmed. Monaco resident Jean-Marc Giraldi, 62, took over as president of Monaco’s Rowing Club (Société Nautique de Monaco) in 2016 when his friend, Prince Albert, asked him to get involved with the club. The Prince first met Jean-Marc in 1988 during the selection of his Olympic bobsled team, and although Jean-Marc didn’t make the cut the two became good friends.
The funeral will take place Thursday morning at Ste Dévote church (time TBD). RIP Jean-Marc, you will be missed.