For the last few weeks, Cancer Support France–Languedoc have been producing useful bulletins summarising key news items from the government and other verified sources, as well as giving practical tips and suggestions for how to occupy yourself during the weeks of home confinement. Here is their fourteenth bulletin during the Coronavirus epidemic.
In this issue we have information about:
- Moving from confinement to the first phase of deconfinement
- French Government planning and information for after the 11th May
- Provision and wearing of masks
- Extra Support and Services
- Frauds and scams
Moving from confinement to the first phase of de-confinement
On 11th May, France will move into the first phase of de-confinement which is expected to last until 2nd June. Further phases will follow depending on the progress of the epidemic.
The strategy requires everyone to continue to act to limit the circulation of the virus. In addition to barrier measures, there is a move to early detection of symptoms, the carrying out of screening tests, and the isolation of sick people as well as people who have been in contact with these patients. As of 11th May, 55,000 general practitioners and 4,000 Health Insurance employees will be on the front line to identify “contact persons” and allow rapid screening of patients exposed to the virus.
A second wave is widely believed to be inevitable.
For those vulnerable to serious Covid-19 symptoms, the next phase will increase the risks, as commerce restarts and people travel and socialise more.
Many people will have had standard and personalised screening and healthcare postponed whilst health services have been impacted by Covid-19. The fewer cases of Covid-19, the better health services can cope with the broad range of services we want to access.
Please follow the rules – reduce Covid-19 cases to a minimum – if not for yourself, then for others, especially the members of our community most at risk.
French Government notifications and information for de-confinement
Our previous bulletin summarised the proposed changes. This has been updated, with more information and detail from M Philippe’s presentation on 7th May, which is available under ‘Official Announcements’ on our Covid-19 support page here: http://csf-languedoc.com/covid-19-support
The appropriate government link is: https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus
Essential changes to note:
- Departments are classified and this will affect what is (and is not) allowed. Please see Classification of Departments Classifications are subject to constant review.
- Masks must be worn on public transport and are advised to be worn in any situation where social distancing cannot be achieved (e.g. shopping). Please see our section Provision and wearing of masks.
- Attestations will not be required for journeys within 100km from home (as the crow flies) with 135€ fine for breach.
- Journeys of more than 100km from home are only allowed for essential professional (e.g. lorry driver) or personal (e.g. for family death or essential care) reasons. These journeys require an attestation. There is a 135€ fine for breach.
- Social gatherings are restricted to 10 people.
- Shops will start to re-open.
- Schools will start to re-open.
- Public transport will be increased – but not to normal levels.
- Parks will start to re-open.
- Beaches will remain closed, with a 135€ fine for breach.
- Restaurants and cafés will remain closed.
The StopCovid digital App is due to go on trial, to be presented to the National Assembly week commencing 25th May. If approved it could go into general use 2nd June.
- If you experience symptoms do not wait: contact your GP who will ask questions and prescribe a test if appropriate. If you cannot reach your GP, contact 15.
- Tests will be done at hospitals, labs, drive-in centres, or at home by a mobile team.
- The test will be reimbursed 100% by CPAM.
- GP will ask you to self-isolate until results are known.
- If result is positive, the GP will continue care. Call 15 if condition deteriorates.
- GP will give advice on self-isolation at home if possible: length of time (8 to 10 days), in own room, wearing of masks at all times (masks will be available free of charge), airing of room, disinfection of objects and surfaces. GP can offer self-isolation in a hotel with help from special support teams.
- You will be asked about who you have been in contact with.
- Contacts will be traced and asked questions by CPAM or ARS. If potentially infected they will be asked to self-isolate until they can be tested 7 days after they have been in contact with the infected person. If the test is negative they will be advised if they can reduce the self-isolation, but they will not be safe for a further 7 days during which they could develop symptoms.
Normal Medical Care
- It is important for all to return to normal medical care for any other conditions. 100 million masks will be delivered to medical professionals week commencing 11th May to enable them to protect themselves and their patients as they return to normal work.
- Older and ‘at risk’ patients should discuss with their GP any concerns about the precautions they should adopt. These consultations will be reimbursed 100%.
- Any concern or anxiety can be discussed with the Red Cross on 0800 130 000, which can also provide practical assistance for those who are isolated and at high risk.
- Video or telephone consultations must continue if appropriate.
Classification of departments
The French Government has developed a traffic light system to identify at what level each department is affected by Covid-19 based on:
- Covid-19 viral circulation levels.
- Critical care capacity in hospitals.
- Testing and contact tracing capacity.
This is important, because it will affect how much flexibility people living in a department will have during the first phase of deconfinement.
Here is the link to the official government website showing departments by colour:
As of 10th May, the whole of Occitanie was designated green.
Provision and wearing of masks
- Wearing a mask is an additional measure and not a replacement for distancing and hand washing.
Wearing a mask is mainly intended to protect others and not the wearer. Wearing a mask reduces the spread of droplets containing virus particles that you may exhale and provides only limited protection for the wearer. This is because viruses are predominantly picked up by the hands and then transferred to the face or they find their way into our bodies via our eyes. This is why frequent and thorough hand washing is advised for the public and why medical workers wear full body protection including goggles or visors.
- Provision of masks
Pharmacies and supermarkets are now selling boxes of disposable masks. In some cases, they need to be reserved by phone or online before being collected from the store reception desk. Some supermarkets are giving preference to loyalty card holders. The situation is expected to ease in the coming weeks. It is also possible to purchase them from pharmacies or online from LaPoste: https://www.laposte.fr/boutique/c/protection-covid19-selection
The supply of reusable masks is expected to commence during May.
The Hérault department has purchased 2.5 million masks which amounts to two per resident. These are top quality fabric washable masks meeting AFNOR category 1 norms (three layers of textiles) and which can be used for 4 hours at a time before being washed for a minimum of 30 minutes at 60oC. They will be distributed free of charge via the Mairies between mid-May and mid-June. There is no need to contact the Mairies who will distribute to everyone’s home when they are available. These have been financed 50% by the department and 50% by communes and intercommunautes de communes.
If you have difficulty obtaining a mask, there are many easy to follow online guides for making a DIY mask. We have featured these in previous bulletins and you can find the details on our website site here: http://csf-languedoc.com/covid-19-support then scroll down to “wearing a mask” for a link to a pdf.
There is a website for sharing the component parts of, or complete masks here: https://www.masquesolidaire.fr/
- Wearing a mask
If used improperly, wearing a mask can be counterproductive.
Before handling the mask, wash your hands with soap and water or disinfect them with a hydro-alcoholic gel.
Extra Support and services
Cyclists can access up to 50€ to support them with repairs or a riding lesson, and businesses can get up to 60% of the costs of setting up bike parking via ALVEOLE: https://www.coupdepoucevelo.fr/auth/home
Can be found or can promote themselves using the following site:
Some restaurants are arranging deliveries or pick-up services. The Midi Libre has made information available here:https://www.midilibre.fr/2020/04/22/drive-livraison-a-domicile-la-carte-des-restaurants-ouverts-pres-de-chez-vous,8858091.php
Some déchetèries are reopening after 11th May for disposal by appointment.
For Syndicat Centre Hérault (Clermont, Gignac, Lodève and area) please see:
For SICTOM (Pezenas, Agde etc), see:
For Sud Hérault (St Chinian, Capestang etc), see:
For Montpellier and surrounds, see: https://www.montpellier3m.fr/villebelle/d%C3%A9ch%C3%A8teries
Employers and workers Covid-19 guidance
The government is constantly adding to its guidance to ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to keep workers and their clients safe. They can be found here:
This applies to employers and workers in all kinds of work environments, including those who work in other people’s homes (cleaning, doing repairs, hairdressing etc).
Financial scams are thriving and can look convincing. Scammers will often ask you to pay a bill urgently, move your money elsewhere to keep it safe, or start phishing for your information. Bona-fide companies will never call you and ask you to log into your account, ask for your online password, or for details about your contracts and accounts.
Our last bulletin noted that SFR have observed a 600% increase in fraudulent emails. We continue to receive information from members about this problem. One report was from a member who had received a fake email from their bank asking them to log in and confirm their identity; another was from someone who had been sent a text, supposedly from their mobile phone company, demanding immediate payment by clicking on a link in the text.
Please be extra cautious about unexpected or odd contact from companies during this time.
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 during the crisis. In line with guidance, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope you stay safe and well.