Emmanuel Macron showed cautious optimism on deconfinement on Wednesday, which is gradually continuing with the symbolic reopening of a few beaches while the parks of Paris will remain closed.
The government must also “arm itself” for a possible reconfinement
Three days after the end of confinement, it is “too early to declare victory” but the path followed is “the right one”, said the head of state at the start of the cabinet, according to government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye. The attention of the executive is now turning to three deadlines: the end of May, because “depending on the evolution of the epidemic, the deconfinement may take a new step after the weekend of Pentecost”, the 2 June, she said. The second is linked to the summer season, with the sensitive issue of displacement, particularly with neighboring countries, which must “be the subject of a necessary European coordination”, according to Sibeth Ndiaye. But the government must also “arm itself” with a view to a possible reconfiguration “if the situation should deteriorate”.
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In the meantime, lucky strollers have been able to rediscover the pleasure of treading on the sand of La Baule beach and Pornichet, partly reopened since 08:00. They can swim, run or engage in any “dynamic activity”, but there is no question of sitting, lying down and even less picnicking, according to the prefectural order.
Objective: avoid crowds
The goal is to avoid crowds on the third day of deconfinement, like those seen since Monday in some Parisian districts, and guarantee physical distance to avoid a new wave of the epidemic.
Mediterranean beaches, the North Sea and the Atlantic could also reopen this weekend for walks or sports, according to several prefects. In addition, the Sanctuary of Lourdes (Hautes-Pyrénées), frequented each year by millions of people, will partially reopen on Saturday “for local individual pilgrims”.
Parisians, on the other hand, will not be able to find their parks and gardens immediately, despite a new call from the mayor Anne Hidalgo, for whom it is “a matter of public health”. But the government reiterated its refusal. This opening would be “inappropriate given the liveliness of the circulation of the virus in the Ile-de-France region,” said Sibeth Ndiaye.
The third day of the slow restart of the country started ballasted with an increasing balance sheet: 348 new deaths recorded in 24 hours Tuesday evening, bringing to at least 26,991 dead since March 1 the balance sheet of an epidemic “still active” in France. The pressure on emergency services, however, continues to ease regularly with 2,543 patients in intensive care, 170 less than the day before. At the height of the epidemic, on April 8, the intensive care unit received more than 7,000 serious cases.
At the Elysée Palace, the president and his government adopted, during a new council of ministers entirely devoted to the epidemic, a long series of bills empowering dozens of emergency orders in many areas , from economics to justice through education and work.