A curfew at 6:00 p.m. will be put in place from Saturday “for at least 15 days” throughout France, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday to deal with the Covid epidemic. 19.

“Except for the exceptions related to public service missions, all places, businesses or services open to the public will be closed at 6:00 p.m.”, the head of government said at a press conference.

Only 25 departments were so far subject to a 6:00 p.m. curfew. “It appears from the data available to date that this measure has health efficiency: in the first 15 departments where the curfew was implemented at 6:00 p.m. on January 2, the increase in the number of new cases is there. 2 or even 3 times lower than in other metropolitan departments “, argued Jean Castex.

France in a “fragile” situation

The Prime Minister estimated that the epidemic situation was “under control” but “fragile” in France, worrying about “the emergence of new more contagious strains” of the coronavirus.

No department has an incidence rate below 50 per 100,000 inhabitants, corresponding to the alert threshold, he argued in particular.

“The first data available to us show that we were able to spend the end of year celebrations without an epidemic outbreak,” he said, however, noting that France remained “on a high plateau, with a weekly average which fluctuates around 16,000 contaminations per day “.

In the event of a “strong epidemic deterioration” in the coming days, the Prime Minister warned that a new containment would be applied “without delay.

A negative test to enter France

Among the new measures announced, all travelers wishing to come to France from a country outside the European Union (EU) will now have to test negative for Covid-19 before leaving.

These people will also have to “undertake on the honor to isolate themselves for seven days once they arrive in France, then to repeat a second PCR test at the end”, added Jean Castex.

Emergency restriction measures will also be put in place in Guyana as well as in Mayotte and Reunion to protect them from the variants circulating in these regions.

In Guyana, “border control will be reinforced and negative tests will be required” to reach the Antilles and the metropolis. Likewise, “negative tests will be required for flights from Mayotte or Reunion”.

Adaptations in schools

The executive, on the other hand, “wanted to keep schools open and this is a fundamental objective for us,” added Mr. Castex.

A resumption by half-groups of tutorials in the 1st year from 25 January was announced by the Prime Minister.

However, indoor and extra-curricular sports activities are suspended until further notice.