Coronavirus: the call for voluntary partitioning, on pain of “harsher measures”


To the carefree picnickers of the Canal Saint-Martin and the Buttes-Chaumont, drinkers of the last drink “before the end of the world” and customers crammed into the aisles of the markets, the ministers multiply themselves to reiterate the calls for responsibility. Edouard Philippe had already tightened the screw Saturday evening, asking the French to “Show more discipline in applying the measures” aimed at making a barrier to the coronavirus which is always spreading faster. The Prime Minister himself noted: “I went out and we saw too many people in cafes, restaurants.” The result of this recklessness and of an epidemic passed into stage 3: all the shops “Not essential” had to lower the curtain on Saturday night. Without these new measures of “Social distancing” have made everyone stay at home.

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If the French do not partition themselves of their own free will, the government therefore intends to further strengthen the rules. This is the message he is trying to get across: “If voluntary confinement is not respected, the public authorities will not hesitate to further harden their approach”, summed up a ministerial adviser this Monday morning, while the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, must again address the country at 8 p.m. How to prepare the ground before a total containment and restrictive measures? “Not in the next few hours. I have no information to that effect “, assured Sibeth Ndiaye, on RTL Sunday evening. But the government spokesperson acknowledged that“Depending on the degree of appropriation of social distancing, we will see if it is necessary to go further”.

“It doesn’t infuse fast enough”

Off, another minister tries to be a little forgiving: “We are so unprepared for this kind of situation … I can understand that it does not infuse quickly enough for most French people. Not everyone has the same level of information, so I don’t want to be in the conviction. “ Each member of government strives to balance understanding and warning. “It’s difficult because it changes our habits”, suits Marlène Schiappa. But the secretary of state for equality between women and men warns that “If everyone does not respect the instructions that have been given, the government will be forced to move to tougher containment instructions.” Guest of France Info, she said she noticed Sunday, after going to the polls, that, on the Paris market on boulevard Raspail, “People were glued to each other, kissing and shaking hands in disregard of the health security advice that was given. Nobody respected the distances of one meter between each other. ” “The virus does not circulate by itself but through the women and men who move”, she recalls, using the words of the Director General of Health, Jérôme Salomon, on Saturday evening.

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Some object that maintaining the first round of municipal elections could have blurred the messages of severity. Or recall that on March 7, Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron went to the theater to encourage the French not to change their outing habits. This is to forget that the situation is changing from day to day and is no longer “life goes on”. “Everyone can do it by being disciplined”, conjures Elisabeth Wargon, Secretary of State for the Ecological Transition. The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, also raised his tone, Sunday evening, vis-à-vis the unrepentant noses and tenants of “as if nothing had happened”: “It is not an act of resistance to go out when you are told not to go out. It’s an act of inconsistency or carelessness and today carelessness can kill. ”

Laure Equy


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