PARIS – Deconfinement begins in very divided country

France kickstarted its gradual deconfinement plan on 11 May. However, the strategy has already been criticised for being risky by the right, the extreme right, the extreme left, but also by teachers and the CGT-FO, which is one of the country’s five major confederation unions.

The French government managed the pandemic rather well, according to the detailed analysis of the pandemic published by the Pasteur Institute, which reveals that the virus was being spread as early as December, after a genetic mutation had allowed it to go unnoticed for a long time, infecting a very small part of the population.

From a logistical point of view, the regular transport of patients from the East and the Île-de-France region to the West had relieved congestion in hospitals that have never been saturated.

Containment also made it possible to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus outside the north-eastern zone, which was initially the most affected.

And on lockdown’s final day (10 May), COVID-19 had only caused 74 deaths, the lowest figure since the beginning of the epidemic, which seems to confirm the strategy adopted.

However, while President Emmanuel Macron had declared that “a united France overcomes all trials” during a speech on Europe Day (9 May), the country still does not have a sufficient amount of masks and tests. Besides, as only 15% of the students go back to school today (11 May), companies are being asked to prioritise teleworking.

The country’s state of emergency has been extended until the beginning of July, which usually marks the start of school holidays. However, with travel only being allowed within a 100 km radius, it remains questionable how the French will benefit from their long-awaited school holidays. (EURACTIV.FR)

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