How will France’s new lockdown be different from spring?

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Last night, President Macron announced that France would begin a second national lockdown from midnight tonight (October 29) to help stop the spread of Covid-19.The lockdown is currently scheduled to last for four weeks, ending on December 1. However, it will be reassessed every 15 days, depending on the health situation.

Prime Minister Jean Castex will give more details on the lockdown at a press conference scheduled for 6:30 p.m. tonight, in addition to his speech to the National Assembly this morning.

Here’s what we already know.

What is changing?

Schools will remain open

One of the most significant changes from spring is that schools in France will remain open during this lockdown.

The president said: “Our children cannot be deprived of long-term education … nurseries, schools, colleges and high schools will remain open with strengthened health measures.”

In universities, online learning is recommended whenever possible.

Retirement homes can be visited

People will still be able to visit retirement homes and Ephad (residential care) during this confinement.

The President said: “In order to avoid the human tragedies we experienced in the spring, when lonely people, at the end of their lives, found themselves totally isolated, visits to Ephad and nursing homes will be allowed this time around, as long as sanitary rules are strictly observed.

Wearing mask required

Wearing a mask was not compulsory during the last childbirth but became so in the months that followed in France.

For this new lockout, the president asked the French to continue to wear masks “systematically”. He added that the mask was necessary “when we are inside in the presence of another person, even someone we are close to, even a young child”.

The Prime Minister also confirmed this morning that wearing a mask will now be compulsory in schools, even for elementary school students aged six and over.

Work from home encouraged

Homework will be encouraged “as much as possible” but the president said it “must be continued with more intensity” than during the last childbirth.

To that end, more sectors will be allowed to continue working during the lockdown, including factories, public infrastructure projects and utilities, including public counters.

Parks and gardens to stay open

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said this morning that the parks and gardens will remain open.

During the spring lockdown, many were closed, including in densely populated areas like central Paris.

What remains the same?

Authorization – “certificate” – forms

The President said: “The authorization forms (attestations) will come back. This means that starting tomorrow (October 30), anyone leaving home will need to complete a paper or digital form explaining their reason for doing so.

As in spring, acceptable reasons for leaving home are likely to include going to work, making doctor’s appointments, caring for others, buying basic necessities, or doing some homework. ‘exercise in areas close to the house.

Limited travel

Travel will be limited between regions of France, although a certain indulgence will be shown over the next few days for people returning home after vacations taken during the weekend of Toussaint (Toussaint).

More gatherings

Private and public gatherings are prohibited and places where people can gather are closed. This includes cinemas, theaters, museums, bars and restaurants.

The president clarified that the cemeteries would remain open for the next few days and possibly beyond. He said: “In this period, marked by All Saints, the cemeteries will remain open and I want us to be able to continue to bury our dead with dignity.

All but essential stores to close

Supermarkets and other stores considered “essential” will remain open during the lockdown.

However, the Prime Minister announced this morning that “on Sundays, the food markets will remain open, unless the prefecture decides otherwise”.

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal confirmed that this applies to covered and open markets.

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