Coronavirus what you need to know this week: deconfinement, phase 1

France began its deconfinement on May 3 while epidemiological indicators are declining.


France starts this week its deconfinement: resumption of face-to-face lessons for middle and high school students and end of the 10 km barrier. If the next stage of May 19 is eagerly awaited, for restaurateurs, the real reopening will instead be on June 9. The calendar is, for the moment, not threatened by the indicators: the epidemic has well started its receding. As for its origin, it could well be accidental. The trail of the virus escaped from wuhan lab is, in fact, again explored. Much to the chagrin of China.

Good reading,

Camille Lestienne, journalist at Figaro

1. Let’s go for deconfinement

The high school students returned to the school benches on Monday, May 3. BENOIT TESSIER / REUTERS

Deconfinement, phase 1. As the President of the Republic announced last week, France entered the first phase of deconfinement last Monday. The middle and high school students have found the school benches. In half-gauge from the 4th year and under surveillance: as soon as a case appears in a class, it will be closed. In support of this, better screening should be deployed thanks to the 64 million self-tests ordered by the ministry for high school students and teachers. While sports lessons are once again allowed indoors, there are no plans to do class outdoors like in Denmark. There, outdoor education, invented in the 1950s, is on the rise. Or when the forest becomes a privileged place of learning. Since May 3, travel beyond 10 km has been authorized during the day, causing the French to travel for the May bridges and beyond, in France and in Europe.

After that? If the prospect of deconfinement relieves the French, relaxation is not yet on the agenda. Police plan to maintain curfew and rally controls. “Firmness remains in place and nothing really changes until Ascension”, told the Figaro a great clerk from a department in the East. May 19 is the next step, with the end of the curfew at 9 p.m., the opening of shops and terraces. For many restaurants, however, the “real reopening” will be June 9th. “Not all of them have a terrace; the 9 p.m. curfew is not compatible with bar activity», Warns a professional. The events sector, on the other hand, is delighted with a possible resumption of weddings from May 19, under certain conditions, however, detailed by Madame Figaro. As for large gatherings of more than 1,000 people, they may this summer be subject to the health pass to which the National Assembly gave the first green light on Tuesday evening. But this summer, moreover, will we drop the mask? This is what the Minister of Health hopes, but it would be playing with fire according to the scientists interviewed by Le Figaro.

2. Where is the epidemic in France?

Covid-19: the incidence rate drops below 400 for all departments Fig data

The next stage of May 19 is correlated for certain territories with the passing of the incidence rate below the bar of 400 infections per 100,000 inhabitants. As of May 5, this is the case for all departments even if the incidence remains high in Val-de-Marne, Seine-Saint-Denis, Essonne and Val-d’Oise. The circulation of the epidemic is declining by “20 to 25% every week“, Assured the Minister of Health who considers that”what matters is not the level of contamination but the epidemic dynamic” falling.

The numbers to remember:

  • 26,000 new positive cases within 24 hours (stationary positivity rate at 7.4%)
  • 5402 patients in critical care (5,504 the day before)
  • 27,686 hospitalized patients (28,427 the day before)
  • 246 death (243 the day before)

Source: French Public Health press release dated May 3

3. China blocks, India cries, New York laughs

Did SARS-CoV-2 accidentally escape from the Wuhan laboratory? Handout. / REUTERS

China. Deemed far-fetched, defended by Donald Trump, the trail of the virus that accidentally escaped from a Chinese laboratory is making a comeback among international scientists. The latter, like the WHO, are annoyed with the “fortress”Erected by China and which slows down the investigation into the origin of SARS-CoV-2. Tristan Vey, from the science department Figaro, explains why this hypothesis is no longer ruled out, while Isabelle Lasserre from the international service retraces the history of this famous P4 laboratory in Wuhan. “A jewel of French technology»Transmitted in 2004, not without creating tensions in France. It has since completely escaped him.

Elsewhere. India is still at the heart of the storm. New Delhi correspondent Emmanuel Derville keeps telling us about this country where “the violence of the epidemic exposes decades of inadequate health policies“. In contrast, New York, 34% vaccinated, is returning to its consumer frenzy and experiencing economic euphoria. Germany for its part is considering lifting the restrictions for people who have been vaccinated and immunized.

4. The quote

The sanitary administrative logic has crushed the principles of humanity. This period was marked by serious breaches of our duty of civilization.

Bruno Retailleau, president of the LR group in the Senate

Bruno Retailleau, president of the LR group in the Senate, tabled a bill on the creation of an enforceable right for visits to hospitals and nursing homes. “It is about drawing all the lessons from the health crisis. Elderly people have been locked in the solitude of nursing homes. The dying were left alone, families deprived of farewell rites, he denounces.

4. Update on vaccination

More than 16 million French people have received a first dose of vaccine. ERIC GAILLARD / REUTERS
  • 16.4 million people (24.6% of French people) received a first dose.
  • 7.3 million people vaccinated (10.9% of French people)

Data as of May 4, source CovidTracker.

To date, vaccination is open to all people over 55 and to those over 18 with co-morbidities. From mid-May, vaccination is extended to over 50s and on June 15 to all French adults.

The United States begins to vaccinate the youngest. According to American media, as early as next week, young people between the ages of 12 and 15 could receive doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine. They were overtaken by Canada, which has already approved the same vaccine for 12-year-olds. The American laboratory is also expected to request emergency authorization for its anti-Covid vaccine for children aged two to 11 from September.

5. Deconfinement schedule

France is still under curfew. It is forbidden to leave your home between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m., under penalty of a fine of 135 euros. However, there are derogatory grounds for which a certificate must be presented.

Emmanuel Macron unveiled the deconfinement calendar on April 29. Since May 3, the restriction on movement beyond 10 km is lifted while middle and high school students have returned to their establishments. Three other steps are expected:

  • May 19 : curfew at 9 p.m., reopening of terraces, shops and cultural venues
  • June 9 : curfew at 11 p.m., reopening of restaurants, cafes and sports halls
  • June 30th : end of curfew and restrictions, total lifting of gauges

6. Reflexes to keep

The virus is transmitted by droplets and aerosols. The barrier gestures detailed by the Ministry of Health must be observed to protect themselves and others:

  • Wash your hands regularly or use hydroalcoholic gel
  • Cough or sneeze into the crease of your elbow
  • Use disposable tissues
  • Wear a mask in public areas when the distance of two meters cannot be respected
  • Maintain a distance of at least two meters from others
  • Limit social contacts as much as possible (6 maximum)
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Air the rooms as often as possible, at least a few minutes every hour
  • Greet without shaking hands and stop hugging

7. What to do in case of symptoms?

The disease manifests itself with several symptoms, most often cough and fever.

The most important thing is to get tested. According to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, you should, in case of symptoms, stay at home and contact your doctor who will order a test. While waiting for the result, you must isolate yourself, wear a mask and prepare a list of people you could have infected.

See you next week.


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