“When the 55 days were over it just got a little crazy,” said Alan Ganansia, a freshman at Suffolk University, who takes his classes online from his home in Paris. “It became a big mess, everyone went south, everyone was packed, and now a second wave has started.
On September 18, the country reported 13,215 cases of COVID-19 – nearly 4,000 cases in its seven-day average, according to the New York Times.
Although some restrictions have been issued at the national level, the country relies heavily on its regionalised approach. French Prime Minister Jean Castex said at a press conference on September 11 that “most of the measures should not be decided from Paris”, as reported by the France 24 news channel.
Castex’s regionalised approach consists of classifying the regions of France into colored zones. “Red zones” or “red zones” are generally areas that have reported 50 positive cases per 100,000 citizens, according to The Local France.
An “orange area” is an area considered to have “moderate” spread of COVID-19, and a “green area”, also referred to as a “gray area”, is considered to have “low” spread of COVID-19.
The regions are categorized into zones on the basis of data provided to the French Ministry of Health by Santé Publique France (SPF). As of September 11, there were 42 “red zones” on France’s list, including Paris and the Alpes-Maritimes.
Ganansia explained that although he believes the regionalised approach was the right way to respond to the second wave, it is still very controversial in France. He said many Parisians were frustrated that they could not return to work, while people in less affected areas (“gray areas”) could.
“I think this is definitely a smart approach,” Ganansia said.
Although there have been many positive cases, France has also managed to increase its testing capacity. According to Ganansia, at the start of the pandemic, COVID tests were available for an amount of 20 euros; however, the tests are now provided free of charge to French citizens.
“In mid-August, they said the tests were going to be free. You could get tested every day of every month for next year and it would be zero euros, ”said Ganansia. “Making it accessible to everyone just encouraged people to get tested.”