The French government has declared Paris and France’s second largest city, Marseille, and its region high-risk coronavirus areas.
According to the Paris City Hall, this decision allows the police headquarters to take harsher “restrictive measures” to deal with the new outbreak of Covid in the capital. “Paris is now classified as an active zone of circulation of the coronavirus”, he specifies.
The decision came via an official decree from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, amid a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in both cities.
In the document, Paris and the Bouches-du-Rhône department of which Marseille is the capital, rub shoulders with countries such as Algeria, Argentina and Bolivia.
“The decree,” he said, “prescribes the general measures necessary to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic in the territories emerging from a state of health emergency and in those where it has been extended.”
No sooner had these powers been granted to him than Paris announced scanning measurements for using the mask outdoors. Over the past month, the rules in France on face masks have changed from mandatory for indoor public spaces to mandatory in many outdoor spaces in several cities including Paris.
Now, from Saturday 15th, the mask areas have been reinforced and extend over a large part of Paris.
Those responsible for Paris and the Bouches-du-Rhône region now have the power, Reuters “To limit the movement of people and vehicles, restrict access to public transport and air transport, limit access to public buildings and close restaurants, bars and other establishments. ”
The rules for compulsory masks have also been introduced by the Marseille authorities since August 8.
For the past two weeks, Covid in France has been on an upward trajectory. On Friday, 2,846 new cases were recorded. Over 2,500 in one day. Current infection rates are at an all time high after the lockdown, not seen since May. Yet even on a par with certain days in April and March.
There is a bit of deja vu in all of this. The spiraling infections cannot be ignored and have sparked discussions of more lockdowns to come.
“The rate of positive tests for Île-de-France (Grand Paris) now stands at 2.4% against the national average of 1.6%”, specifies the town hall. “The incidence is particularly high among 20-30 year olds.”
It is also particularly high in the center of Paris and in certain large suburbs such as Seine-Saint-Denis, Val de Marne and Hauts-de-Seine. In Paris, there are 70 cases of Covid per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 34 on the national average. This is the trend of the last two weeks.
Not much better in the southern port city of Marseille; this figure is 57. The Bouches-du-Rhône region also includes towns like Aix-en-Provence and Arles.
Government measures pave the way for tougher borders across France, in Covid hotspots. By giving local authorities the right to impose similar restrictions as they see fit.
“The new ‘red zone’ status of major French cities could see other nations imposing travel restrictions,” Fox News conjectured.
This would continue a growing trend in Europe. Britain has just introduced a 14-day quarantine for all French people arriving from today, due to the increase in infections.
Norway put France last week on its ‘red’ list, which means the same period of self-isolation for anyone returning or arriving. Belgium, 10 days ago, banned travel in Greater Paris.
A growing number of low-risk Covid countries are declaring Paris and other French regions as a ‘red zone’ for travel. Well now France has also declared Paris.