For the last few weeks, Cancer Support France–Languedoc have been producing useful bulletins summarising key news items from the French government and other verified sources, as well as giving practical tips and suggestions for how to occupy yourself during the weeks of home confinement. The Association, which supports Anglophones living in the Languedoc who are affected by cancer, has kindly offered to share these bulletins with us.
Welcome to our thirteenth bulletin during the Coronavirus epidemic. In this issue we have information about:
- French Government notifications and information for before the 11th May
- French Government planning and information for after the 11th May
French Government notifications and information for before the 11th May
Classification of départements
The French Government has developed a traffic light system prior to, and to be continued from, 11th May. The purpose is to identify at what level each department is affected by Covid-19 based on:
- Covid-19 viral circulation levels.
- Critical care capacity in hospitals.
A third element of review will be added from 11th May:
- Testing and contact tracing capacity.
This is important, because it will affect how much flexibility people living in a department will have following 11th May and beyond.
Those in green departments will have the greatest liberties allowed after 11th May, with greater restriction for those in orange departments and little change in departments classed as red.
Here is the link to the official government website showing departments by colour:
As of 3rd May, the whole of Occitanie was designated green.
AND – Cycling is back!
The government has confirmed that cycling is an acceptable method of travel under the limits of the attestation, including for exercise (sticking within the 1 km from home limit).
French Government planning and information for after 11th May
The price of single use surgical masks to be sold in shops post 11th May will be capped at 95 cents per unit.
There will be no ceiling for fabric masks, as they will vary in quality, by number of times they can be used, etc. There will, however, be weekly surveys by Anti-Fraud services, to make sure profit margins are not abused. The government has stated that an acceptable price for a fabric mask would work out at about 20 – 30 cents per use.
Other controls will take place to ensure the quality of masks for the general public to verify that they have been subject to appropriate tests regarding their filtration performance, and to ensure their compliance with statements made about their quality and durability.
There is already an interdepartmental ‘Anti-Scam’ Covid-19 task force across state services, which has dealt with tens of thousands of online advertisements and closed a hundred sites.
In addition, the SignalConso platform, where consumers can report breaches to supervisory authorities, has already collected and investigated around 1,200 reports of Covid-19 abuse.
Suspected fraud relating to Covid-19 can be reported using this site: https://signal.conso.gouv.fr/
A general caveat for all social gatherings is that there must be no more than 10 people, and that older people, and those considered “vulnerable, at risk”, should exercise caution about attending any such gatherings.
Older and at-risk people are advised to limit their outings and contacts due to the increased risk of a severe response to Covid-19.
- A gathering at home
Within the limit of 10 people, gatherings of families and friends will be allowed, provided that the participants reside within a radius of 100 km and in the same department. (Whether a department is red or green on the virus circulation map could make a difference.)
- A barbecue in the garden
Outdoor gatherings are subject to the same rules as indoor ones – in public and private places. So again, no more than 10 participants and consider older/at risk people who have been asked to limit their contacts.
- A visit to your grandparents
It is not formally forbidden to visit your older relatives – provided that they live within a radius of 100 km and in the same department, (with the exception of compelling family reasons) – but it is not recommended.
“We will ask our seniors to continue to protect themselves. They must respect rules similar to the confinement period,” said Édouard Philippe. However, this recommendation will not be subject to controls.
- A picnic with friends or trip to the beach
The rules remain the same: no more than 10 people etc. Not to mention that some parks and public gardens will not reopen after 11th May.
All beaches will remain closed until at least 1st June.
This will not be the case for forests, mountains and natural sites, provided that the area where you plan to picnic is located within a radius of 100 km around your home. Some prefects may prohibit access to the mountains. The decision could be conditional on whether a department is green, orange or red.
- A wedding
Weddings will need to be postponed. “In general, we must avoid gatherings which are occasions for the spread of the virus. (…) While waiting for better days, town halls will continue to offer, except in emergencies, postponement of marriages”, added Édouard Philippe.
People will not be able to say “yes” in a town hall or in a religious building. Places of worship will remain open but cannot organise a religious ceremony prior to 2nd June.
It has been announced that France will not impose quarantine on any person, whatever their nationality, coming from the European Union, the Schengen zone or the United Kingdom.
Physical distancing remains a requirement for anyone practicing any sporting activities.
Five conditions for sporting activities are:
- There will be no limit to the duration of sporting practice.
- It can be undertaken without an attestation.
- It must be done within a distance of no more than 100 km from home.
- Gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people.
- Sporting activities must take place outdoors.
Access to changing/locker rooms for outdoor activities will not be permitted.
Tennis is authorised, but team and combat sports are not.
Specific distance criteria between people have been established and must be adhered to:
- A distance of at least 10 metres between two people for cycling and jogging.
- Sufficient* physical distance for outdoor activities such as tennis, yoga, fitness, for example (*probably judged to be as currently, no less than a metre apart at all times).
The Sports Ministry says it will soon publish an exhaustive list of disciplines and sports affected by this temporary ban in a practical guide that is being developed, with a further review expected regarding indoor and contact sports.
Professional sport will be subject to the same rules for the resumption of training, and the 2019-2020 season of professional collective sports cannot resume. Professional sporting events may resume from September.
More cycling news
On 29th April, a plan was announced to provide 20 million euros to increase the use of bicycles following the reduction in confinement on 11th May. A large part of this is to reduce the likelihood of a huge increase in car traffic on the roads as people consider avoiding public transport.
This government plan notably includes:
- A fixed price of 50 euros for the repair of a bicycle (change of chain, brake, tyre, derailleur, etc.) within a referenced network of repairers, who will be listed on a dedicated platform soon and managed by the Fédération Française des Usagers de la Bicyclette (FUB).
- The funding of temporary bike parking spaces.
- Funding of training to learn or relearn how to ride a bike.
- Acceleration of the introduction in the private sector of the ‘Sustainable Mobility Package’; up to 400 euros a year ‘Bike to Work scheme’.
Whether you are a bicycle repairer and wish to be listed within the referenced network of repairers, or individuals wishing to benefit from the 50 euro package, the FUB is currently working on implementing a system to facilitate contact between bicycle dealers and individuals. Please keep yourself informed via the FUB website:
https://www.fub.fr/fub/actualites/plan-gouvernemental-20-millions-euros-encourager-pratique-velo-deconfinement or their social networks on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Please continue to be cautious about unexpected or odd contact from companies during this time. SFR has announced that fraudulent emails have increased 6-fold during the pandemic.
Cancer Support France-Languedoc (CSF-L), Covid-19 response
CSF-L continues to support Anglophones touched by cancer in the Hérault and Aveyron, as well as extending support to people touched by Covid-19 for the duration of the crisis. In line with confinement requirements, this is done at distance. Our Helpline can be reached on 04 67 44 87 06. (This is a voicemail service and we aim to return calls within 24 hours of a message being left).
If there is information you would like to share with others, please contact us using our email address: email@example.com
We hope you stay safe and well.