The French regained their smile on Thursday, after months of being forced to wear a mask on the street and in closed places and to look at the clock to return home before the curfew begins. Since yesterday, people can go out all over the country without covering their mouth and nose, “except in certain circumstances: groups, crowded places, waiting lines, markets …”, as announced by the French Prime Minister, Jean Castex . And starting this Sunday, citizens will also say goodbye to the curfew, currently in force between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
«We breathe. We are much better (without a mask). It’s going to be easier with the heat, ”sums up Martine, a French woman currently working as a babysitter in Paris. “We have been wearing the mask for too long and we want to move on to something else, to have a life like before,” says this woman who only needed to get a dose of the vaccine because she has passed from covid-19.
The French capital lived its first day without a mandatory mask on the street in the heat of the heat wave. The Parisians appreciated being able to take it off on a very muggy day in which the thermometers reached a maximum of 28 degrees.
Many wore the mask in their pocket or purse, at chin height or as a bracelet. Others wore it, either because they entered or left a store or the subway, because of confusion, as a precaution or because they were unaware that it was no longer necessary to wear it when driving on the street. «It was announced yesterday (Wednesday) and it starts today (Thursday). I don’t know if everyone is up to date, ”justified Servane, an educator at a child protection center.
Oscar, a 21-year-old student who is doing an internship, explains that he is not afraid because the number of infections has dropped and there are more and more people fully vaccinated against the coronavirus in the country. This young Frenchman believes, in any case, that it is necessary to “continue to be prudent and responsible and continue to wear the mask in the subway or in places where there are many people.” He says that he has not yet been vaccinated because he had tests and did not want to be affected by the side effects of the serum, but he assures that he will do so soon.
The opposition interpreted Castex’s double announcement – the end of the mask in outdoor spaces and the end of the curfew – as “a gift” to French citizens, days before the first round of regional elections in the country, that will take place this Sunday.
I am not fooled. This is the question we ask ourselves: What gift will we have next week? Because this is the second round of the regional elections, so good news is necessarily going to come, “Xavier Bertrand, outgoing president of the Hautes de France region, who is running for re-election, told France Info.
Jordan Bardella, head of the list of the far-right National Regrouping party in Île-de-France (Paris region), recalled, for his part, that the Government has been saying for several weeks that it would not immediately lift the obligation to cover the nose and mouth . «And, as by chance, four days before the regional elections they announce the end of the curfew and the end of the obligation to wear a mask abroad. Perhaps they are going to announce a tax cut, the end of immigration, a reinforcement in criminal matters, “added the candidate of Marine Le Pen’s party with ironic tone.
“The French are much smarter than that: they will vote for their president of the region and it will not be such a decision that will make them change their vote,” opined, on the contrary, Válérie Pécresse, outgoing president of the Parisian region and candidate for reelection.