Reinforced curfew or confinement on weekends? The Alpes-Maritimes are preparing to undergo a new turn of the screw to “stem the epidemic” of Covid-19, particularly virulent in this department.
After consultation with elected officials, the Alpes-Maritimes prefecture announced on Sunday that it had sent proposals for measures, without specifying which ones, to the government. The announcements must be made shortly, probably Monday, but one hypothesis is already holding the line, that of localized containment at the weekend, which would be a first in metropolitan France.
The incidence rate is particularly high in the city of Nice, with more than 700 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants, more than three times the national average (190), while around 10% of screening tests are positive ( against 6% for the whole of France), in a context of the spread of the British variant, which is more contagious.
“The decision is almost stopped. We are moving towards a confinement on the weekend,” said LR MP Eric Ciotti in Nice-Matin, saying he wished that “the high country, which is less affected by the epidemic, be preserved “.
During a meeting Saturday evening with the prefect, the elected officials proposed five tracks, according to Alexandra Valetta-Ardisson, LREM deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes, questioned by France Inter: “generalized wearing of the mask”, “strengthening of controls”, hardening of “the gauge for shopping centers”, “confinement targeted at weekends and only on (…) the coast” and “the prohibition of entry into the department, unless there is a compelling reason.”
On the other hand, “we have said that we do not want a general reconfinement”, she added.
The putting under cover on Saturdays and Sundays of the coastal towns, from Menton to Théoule-sur-Mer, has the favor of the LR mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, to discourage the influx of tourists. At the same time, “we do not deprive economic activity of turning for traders, for artisans,” he argues.
“The trend is not good”
However, this track is not unanimous among other mayors of the coast, who believe that the problem is above all Nice, such as the LR mayor of Antibes, Jean Léonetti. Local confinement, in force since February 5 in Mayotte, has so far been unprecedented in metropolitan France.
In Moselle, also faced with an outbreak of Covid linked in particular to the variant that appeared in South Africa, this track was mentioned before being ruled out. The situation of this border department of Germany, which today knows 283 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, could push Angela Merkel’s government to classify this territory as a high-risk area, according to a German media group.
“I did not quite understand why the Moselle had not done more, because the risk is high of seeing this South African variant arrive” throughout the country, was surprised Saturday evening on BFMTV Rémi Salomon, president of the AP-HP medical commission.
And to evoke a very fragile situation in the North and in Ile-de-France. For him, “we are today at the foot of the wall” and a national reconfinement “will happen”.
The Elysée gives itself 8 to 10 days
Former Minister of Health Philippe Douste-Blazy also proposed in an interview with the Journal du dimanche “strict confinement of four weeks to (…) regain control of the epidemic”.
At the national level, “the trend is not good”, admitted the government spokesman, Gabriel Attal, to the RTL – LCI – Le Figaro Grand Jury, using Olivier Véran’s words on Saturday in Nice.
More than 22,000 new cases of contamination were recorded on Sunday, the same level as on Saturday, and hospital pressure remains at a high level, with more than 25,000 Covid patients hospitalized, including nearly 3,400 in shifts.
And, the sunny weekend raised fears of a relaxation of barrier gestures. The Interior Ministry reported on Sunday nearly 4,600 verbalizations the day before throughout France for non-compliance with the curfew.
“The trend is unfortunately not to loosen the constraint,” said Attal, reiterating that the government’s objective is, as much as possible, to avoid a third confinement.
On Friday, the Elysee Palace said it would give itself 8 to 10 days to decide whether the current constraints should be relaxed or tightened, according to majority parliamentarians, who participated in a video conference with the Presidency of the Republic.
Gabriel Attal also defended the vaccine strategy, assuring that “France is the EU country in which there have been the most” first injections of the vaccine.
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