In view of the corona pandemic, the French already have some experience with exit restrictions, as decided on Tuesday at the meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Prime Minister. What is called “corona leash” in Germany is called “confinement” in France – the term that has meanwhile become naturalized in the neighboring country for extensive restrictions on mobility. In France, however, much stricter rules were enacted than in Germany.
The Chancellor and the Prime Ministers have agreed that the radius of movement in Corona hotspots can be limited to 15 kilometers. In the case of “confinement” in France, which was imposed once in spring last year and a second time before Christmas, the strictest variant of the exit restriction even applied a one-kilometer rule: Anyone who did not have to go to work or had any other valid reason to was allowed to move only one kilometer from home. Recreational athletes, for example, had to adhere to this.
Epidemiologist defends the restrictions
Epidemiologist Catherine Hill is one of those who advocated drastic restrictions on freedom of movement in France last November. The 74-year-old, who belonged to the French Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Medical Devices, said at the time that this contributed significantly to avoiding contact and thus also the possibility of infection.
When head of state Emmanuel Macron announced the strict exit restrictions for the second time at the end of October, very few French were surprised. At that time, over 40,000 new corona infections were registered within 24 hours. After December 14, the daytime exit restrictions were lifted but replaced by night curfews. Health Minister Olivier Véran recently did not rule out the possibility that daytime mobility restrictions could be reintroduced if the infection should dictate it.
More than 66,000 dead since the pandemic began
Compared to the previous high point for new corona infections in the old year, the numbers in the neighboring country have now declined, but they are still worryingly high. On Wednesday evening, 25,379 new Covid-19 cases were recorded within 24 hours. On the same day, 283 corona deaths were registered. Since the pandemic began, 66,565 people have died from the virus in France.
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Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday that the infection rate in France is currently less serious than in many neighbors in the EU. Nevertheless, Attal emphasized: “We still have a few difficult months ahead of us.” The virus is spreading particularly strongly in the east of the country, said the government spokesman. In 15 departments, the curfew already applies at 6 p.m. 6.5 million French are affected. The rest of the country has a curfew from the age of 20.