COVID-19: Macron Mobilizes France

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Macron: “WE ARE AT WAR”

After Italy, it’s now France that sounds the alarm. This is now official, France is moving to stage 3 of the pandemic. President Macron said on TV: “We are at war!”.

French president, Emmanuel Macron, announced on Monday a 15-days lockdown prohibiting residents from leaving their homes unless absolutely necessary. He told French residents to take public transport only if absolutely necessary and only for buying essential groceries.

From now on, friends or family reunions are banned. The aim is to really stop social interactions to stop the further propagation of the virus. Each trip will imperatively have to be justified with the motive of the trip. For each trip, you’ll have to download and fill in a certificate available this Tuesday at noon on the government’s website. The certificate can also be handwritten. In case of breaking these regulations, people could be fined €38, what can increase to up to €135. The goal being to really limit trips to the bare minimum.

  • Trips between the house and place of exercise of occupation, when they are vital to your occupation and that you are not able to work from home (by permanent certificate) or business trips that could not be adjourned.
  • Trips for first-necessity shopping in authorized places (list on gouvernement.fr).
  • Trips for health reasons.
  • Trips for urgent family matters to aid vulnerable people or take care of children.
  • Short trips close to your house, related to personal exercise excluding all collective sports sessions, or to walk the dog

Lockdown

Macron also said that travel between the European Union and non-EU countries would be restricted for 30 days starting Tuesday at noon. French citizens will be exempt and should contact their local embassies if they are abroad and want to return home, le President said.

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France deploys 100,000 police to enforce coronavirus lockdown

“France will deploy 100,000 police to enforce the lockdown ordered by President Emmanuel Macron aimed at curbing the coronavirus outbreak”, said the country’s interior minister on Monday, “and fixed checkpoints will be set up across the country.”

“Stay at home,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said, adding that fines of up to 135 euros would be handed out to those flouting the toughened restrictions.

In a somber address to the nation, Macron said that from Tuesday midday (1100 GMT) people should stay at home unless it was to buy groceries, travel to work, exercise or for medical care. 

France had already shut down restaurants and bars, closed schools and put ski resorts off-limits, but Macron said measures unprecedented in peacetime were needed as the number of infected people doubled every three days and deaths spiraled even higher.

Anyone flouting the restrictions, in place for at least the next two weeks, would be punished.

“I know that what I am asking of you is unprecedented, but circumstances demand it,” Macron said.

“We’re not up against another army or another nation. But the enemy is right there: invisible, elusive, but it is making progress.”

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Army mobilized

Under the new measures, soldiers would help transport the sick to hospitals with spare capacity and a military hospital with 30 intensive-care beds would be set up in the eastern region of Alsace, where one of the largest infection clusters has broken out.

Strong economic measures

“France will mobilize 45 billion euros ($50.22 billion) in crisis measures to help its companies, with the economy expected to contract 1% this year due to the coronavirus outbreak”, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday he also said that “a large part of the 45-billion-euro figure was the deferral of all tax payments and payroll charges that companies were due to pay this month and the cancellation of such payments for firms at risk of collapse.”

Sources:


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