Thursday, January 21

Covid-19: the government wants to extend the state of health emergency until June 1


The state of health emergency is not about to disappear. A new bill presented to the Council of Ministers on Wednesday, January 13, acts a seventh version of the text on which this exceptional legal regime is based. Subject to adoption by Parliament, the bill must make it possible to extend the state of health emergency in force from October 17, 2020 until 1er June 2021 when it was theoretically due to end on February 16.

The text, which will be debated from January 20 in the National Assembly, also includes a transitional regime for exiting the state of health emergency until September 30. This is a new period of eight months during which the government can resort to important measures in terms of restriction of public and individual freedoms in the name of the fight against the epidemic due to the coronavirus, such as the closure of establishments welcoming the public, covers it -fire or even confinement.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Generalized 6 p.m. curfew, third confinement or status quo: the government at the time of choice

“Today, we cannot deprive ourselves of any tool that can help us fight the virus, certainly not now”, said Wednesday evening the Minister of Health and Solidarity, Olivier Véran, during a hearing before the law committee in the Assembly. In front of the deputies, Mr. Véran defended the curfew measure at 6 p.m. ensuring that it had a “Proven braking effect” on the epidemic.

Sunset clause

While this bill was presented as a “Technical text” by the Minister of Health, some deputies present during the hearing insisted on the exceptional duration of the state of health emergency. “It will be eighteen months that we are in an exceptional state, underlines the deputy of Manche Philippe Gosselin (LR). This text cannot be considered as a trivial text. He will also ask the question of the conditions for organizing the campaign for the next departmental and regional elections ”, he asserts.

Parliamentarians from both the majority and the opposition defended the idea of ​​a closer review clause, deeming the transitional regime of the exit from the state of emergency to be too long as of September 30, 2021. “We are asking ourselves the question of shortening or deleting it, which means that we will meet again in May for a new extension”, summarizes the deputy of La République en Marche (LRM) Guillaume Gouffier-Cha. His colleague LRM Sacha Houlié, for his part, defends the outright deletion of article 3 including this transitional regime.

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