Situation Worsens in Parts of France But Another Lockdown Ruled Out
25th February 2021
Last modified on March 1st, 2021
The French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, has said the current Covid-19 situation in some parts of France is ‘worrying’. Cases in the Alps and the Pyrenees remain steady and relatively under control though concerns are rising after the holiday period.
“The health situation in our country has worsened over recent days. Yesterday we reported over 30,000 positive cases, a figure we haven’t recorded since last November,” he said on Thursday in a televised address.
France had been aiming to get the figure down to 5,000 per day and is not in lockdown like many other countries in Europe.
The Prime Minister warned that the virus had been gaining ground over the past week and said time was now needed to allow vaccines to work.
Twenty départements in France have been placed on ‘heightened surveillance’ with the threat of extra health restrictions including weekend lockdowns as Covid virus numbers rise.
The Alpes Maritimes is the only mountainous region in France on the list.
The region contains the resort of Isola 2000 and a handful of smaller ones.
It is currently the holiday periods across France and though the ski lifts are shut hotels and accommodations are open.
Ski resorts report that they have between 20% and 30% of their normal numbers.
Most are offering a range of other activities for guests to enjoy.
This has meant people have moved about the country and potentially spread the virus.
A lockdown would likely have brought cases down but would have been politically unpopular and economically damaging.
The Prime Minister said a country-wide lockdown is not on the cards.
France has recorded 3,721,061 cases and 85,473 deaths since the pandemic began.
It currently has 208 cases per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.
“Weekend lockdown is an intermediary measure that we hope will allow us to flatten the curve of infections. It’s a targeted measure in certain areas where the epidemic is spreading quickly.
“This seems to me to be the right strategy without affecting those areas where the epidemic is decreasing or circulating less rapidly.”
France has also now reached the point where 50 percent of all reported positive cases are new variants of the virus.
“The most widely spread in our country is by the English variant that now affects over half of those infected by Covid-19 in France,” the Prime Minister said.