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In the aftermath of President Emmanuel Macron’s new announcements intended to fight the Covid-19 epidemic in France, Prime Minister Jean Castex is due to make a statement on Thursday “on the evolution of the health situation and the measures necessary to respond to it” , which will be followed by a debate and a vote.
Schools closed, traffic limited and non-essential shops closed across the country from Monday: Parliament debates on Thursday the tightening of restrictions announced by President Emmanuel Macron, who acknowledged “errors” in the management of the epidemic of coronavirus for a year.
Prime Minister Jean Castex is due to make a statement on Thursday, which will be followed by a debate and a vote in both chambers of Parliament, “on the evolution of the health situation and the measures necessary to respond to it”, declared Matignon to AFP.
The debate must be held in the morning in the National Assembly and then in the Senate in the afternoon. After the intervention of the government, the groups will have two hours of speaking time, with 30 minutes for LREM, 20 minutes for LR, the first opposition force at the Palais Bourbon, ten minutes for each of the other groups and five minutes for one. member not registered.
This debate comes the day after Emmanuel Macron’s radio and television address, announcing a new turn of the screw in the face of the Covid-19 epidemic and calling on the French to “provide an additional effort” but without strict confinement.
All of France concerned
The strongest announcement is the closure of nurseries, schools, colleges and high schools for three to four weeks while the executive had made the continued opening of schools the “totem” of its strategy.
The pupils will follow the distance learning courses the day after Easter weekend, before two weeks of vacation from April 12 for all zones. The start of the school year is set for all on April 26, physically for schools, and at a distance for colleges and high schools.
In recent days, calls for such a closure “have multiplied in the educational community and the political class, like the socialist mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, citing a” very serious “health situation in the capital.
Emmanuel Macron also announced that the restrictions in force since mid-March in 19 departments – including all those of Île-de-France and Hauts-de-France – will be extended to the entire territory for four weeks at from Saturday. Non-essential shops, especially clothing, will therefore be closed everywhere, and travel will be limited to 10 km.
According to Bercy, this extension will increase the number of closed establishments from 90,000 to 150,000, while the total cost of aid and compensation to companies increases to 11 billion euros per month.
Thanks to this mobilization in April, the Head of State promised the reopening of certain cultural places and the terraces of bars and restaurants from mid-May.
This hoped-for return to normal will be made possible thanks to an acceleration of the vaccination campaign, extended to all people over 60 from April 16, then to all over 50 on May 15 and finally every under 50 from mid-June.
Emmanuel Macron has also promised “additional reinforcements” in intensive care to cope with the influx of serious patients from Covid-19 and to go “in the coming days” to more than 10,000 beds, against 7,665 currently.
Under pressure from increasing criticism from many doctors and oppositions, Emmanuel Macron admitted Wednesday evening to have “made mistakes” in the management of the crisis, after having refused all “mea culpa” for having decided at the end of January not to reconfine .
“At each stage of this epidemic, we could tell ourselves that we could have done better, that we made mistakes. All of this is true,” he admitted. “But I do know one thing: we held on, we learned, and we got better every time.”
Among the first political reactions, Marine Le Pen judged that “the measures announced by Macron result in particular from a vaccine Waterloo for which he does not assume responsibility”.
It is “at the same time” at its peak, criticized Guillaume Peltier, number two of LR: “Confining without confining, closing schools without closing them, winning the battle for vaccination but without vaccine, supporting our caregivers but without means.”
Jean-Luc Mélenchon denounced him an “inconsistent” program of measures.
“An omniscient president decides everything, all the time and for everyone. The Parliament will take care of the rest, for its part reacted the national secretary Europe Ecology-The Greens, Julien Bayou, in a tweet.