To those who were waiting for the imminent end of the health constraints linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has just given a denial. At the end of the Council of Ministers of Wednesday, September 29, the government spokesman, Gabriel Attal, announced that the health pass, supposed to disappear on November 15, could be extended until the summer of 2022. Its corollary, the maintenance of a state of health emergency regime, should also be extended until July 2022. A text to this effect must be presented to the Council of Ministers on October 13, before being debated at the end of the month .
Hinted at, this decision could however seem counter-intuitive. The fourth wave of Covid-19 that hit the country in the summer is on the way to being brought under control. Except in the West Indies, where the situation is delicate, and in Guyana, where it remains dramatic, the signals have gradually turned green. Now, only one department, Bouches-du-Rhône, has a Covid-19 incidence rate greater than 100 per 100,000 inhabitants. In six out of ten departments, this rate has even fallen below the bar of 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. “The sanitary thinning is observed almost everywhere in France, said Gabriel Attal, But just because the tide is low doesn’t mean it can’t come up. “
After eighteen months of managing a puzzling pandemic marked by the eruption of increasingly contagious variants, the executive intends to no longer be surprised. Keep the possibility of using the health pass, this sesame allowing access to bars, restaurants, theaters, museums and other places supposed to embody “The French art of living” against proof of a vaccination or a Covid-19 test, must enable it to neutralize any future waves.
“We must not be disarmed”
And if Emmanuel Macron has suggested, in recent weeks, that a reduction in constraints was possible by the end of the year, epidemiologists have warned him. “We expect the Covid-19 epidemic to restart in the fall”, notably alerted Professor Arnaud Fontanet in an interview with Parisian, September 22.
Seven months before the presidential election, the head of state knows he has no room for error. A rebound in the epidemic, which would force it to resort to new closings of shops or restaurants, or even to curfews or confinements, would be difficult to accept in the eyes of the French. “We can’t afford to have a fifth wave”, recognizes Thomas Mesnier, member of the Charente (La République en Marche, LRM), concluding: “We must not disarm. “
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