Emmanuel Macron and several ministers met at the Élysée this Friday in the Defense Council to discuss, in particular, the question of the gauge of gatherings, border controls, tests but also the start of the school year.
Increase the maximum capacity of 5,000 people for large gatherings
The various ministers present will take stock of the obligation, since Monday, July 20, to wear a mask in closed public places. They will also observe the health indicators that show an increase in Covid cases in France and in particular among 20-40 year olds, a population that develops few serious forms of the disease and perhaps feels protected. A generation which, all over the country, tends to participate in large gatherings, big parties on the occasion of these summer holidays, and without always wearing the mask. The government’s fear is that these young adults will infect their seniors, who are more at risk. On the subject of gatherings, the Defense Council will study the possibility of changing the maximum level set at 5,000 people.
Strengthen border controls
The meeting ministers also planned to discuss the issue of borders. 250,000 cases of Covid-19 occur every day around the world. The virus is everywhere and some neighboring countries like Spain are re-defining entire areas. Belgium is witnessing a significant progression of the epidemic. The Defense Council will therefore discuss a possible strengthening of border controls. In our airports, should we systematically test all travelers arriving from an area where the virus circulates a lot? Should they be placed in quarantine? All these options are possible, warns Olivier Véran the Minister of Health.
There is also the question of screening tests. France has the capacity to do 700,000 per week but it currently only achieves half of it. However, in some regions such as Ile-de-France, it is the traffic jam. The tests are not done in less than 24 hours as they should be.
Relax the rules in schools
Last subject on the menu of the Defense Council, and not the least controversial of them: the start of the school year that the government wishes to anticipate. What will be the measures, the protocols that will ensure the best conditions for the return of students? Scientific knowledge about children has changed a lot in recent months. We now know that they have mild forms of Covid-19, and that they do not contaminate each other very much, that they do not infect adults. It is moreover rather the reverse. The rules may therefore be relaxed. At the same time, we will have to prepare for a possible second wave of the epidemic in the fall, a wave feared by doctors with the return of the cold.