France is “still a long way off” from lifting Covid-19 lockdown, government says

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                Il est peu probable que la France lève de si tôt un verrouillage partiel des coronavirus, a déclaré mercredi un porte-parole du gouvernement, même si certaines restrictions pourraient être assouplies avant Noël. 
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                                    <p>Le président Emmanuel Macron et les principaux ministres ont discuté de la crise, notamment de la question de savoir s'il fallait assouplir certaines restrictions à partir du 1er décembre "si les conditions le permettent", a déclaré le porte-parole Gabriel Attal.

But Attal insisted: “We’re not at all close to ending the lockdown, we’re still a long way from it. ”

The drop in new infections since the start of a second national lockdown on October 30 has triggered calls from business groups to allow stores to open on November 27 for the “Black Friday” sales that kick off the season. holiday shopping.

Otherwise, they fear losing to internet giants such as Amazon, which should target stranded home buyers.

The association of French mayors AMF also called on Wednesday for a gradual reopening of shops “to avoid a rush of customers before Christmas, while allowing them to resume operations will be inevitable”.

But Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Wednesday called on retailers – including e-commerce companies – to postpone the Black Friday marketing blitz.

Macron himself is expected to address the nation again on the virus crisis next week, particularly on the prospects of travel and family reunions for the fast approaching vacation.

But officials are reluctant to take a ‘stop and go’ approach to tackling the epidemic even as the pandemic slows, as hospitals remain filled with Covid-19 patients.

Health officials on Tuesday reported 427 coronavirus deaths in the previous 24 hours, and a total of 4,759 intensive care patients, including 361 admitted on the last day.

The total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic in France is 46,698.

This means that the vast majority of intensive care beds available before the crisis erupted are now full – although the government has made efforts to create new ones. But the number of intensive care patients rose from 4,838 patients on Tuesday to 4,919 on Monday.

The number of new daily infections rose to 12,587 on Tuesday, well below the 50,000 to 60,000 when Macron announced the new partial lockdown last month.

But Macron said the daily case count had to fall below 5,000 before the government could start to significantly ease the latest restrictions.

(AFP)

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