The time has come. Lockdown is a fact from noon March 17th 2020. Stage 3 was announced on 14 March 2020 by France's Prime Minister. From midnight Saturday, all bars, restaurants, nightclubs, discotheques, cinemas and all non-essential shops were ordered to close their doors indefinitely. Only pharmacies, petrol stations, grocery stores, and newsagents are to remain open.
What does 'lockdown' mean?
Lockdown means that we are collectively obligated to stay at home, with the exception of, and per filling out and printing an "Attestation station de dé placement dé rogatoire" to show at checkpoints (people without internet or printer may also write it on paper).
- Trips between home and the place of exercise of the professional activity, when they are essential for the exercise of activities which cannot be organized in the form of telework (on permanent proof) or professional trips which cannot be deferred;
- Trips to make essential purchases in authorized establishments (list on government.fr);
- Travel for health reasons;
- Travel for compelling family reasons,for assistance to vulnerable persons or childcare;
- Brief trips, near the home, linked to the individual physical activity of the people, to the exclusion of any collective sporting practice, and to the needs of pets.
What is the Coronavirus?
In humans, coronaviruses cause mild forms of respiratory tract infections, but strains like SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 can be deadly. Symptoms include fever and breathing issues. For now, there are no announcements of vaccines or medication that can either prevent or treat the virus. It is said that the illness feels less severe or painful than the common flu. Patients with a compromised immune system, people over 80 years old and people with heart issues are particularly at risk to contract the virus.
Where does the name come from?
According to Wikipedia: "the name is derived from the Latin corona, meaning "crown" or "halo", which refers to the characteristic appearance of the virus particles (virions): they have a fringe reminiscent of a crown or of a solar corona."
- Situation reports by department including Vendée from Ouest-France.
- The Pays de la Loire region has activated a new telephone number (toll-free) 0 800 100 200 and email address
- Vendée church services: weddings, baptisms and church services are postponed. with exception of funerals. HOWEVER, funerals are forbidden for people 70+ and attendees must leave space of at least one chair between them
- Vendée déchèteries are closed until further notice
- Puy du Fou, opening postponed to April 18th (for now). Read their Covid-19 press release here. (As of March 30th)
- Beaches closed to the public
- Fontenay-le-Comte sets up mobile medical center
- The department has issued a mandate not to move more than 1000m from your home for dog walking or exercise
- All official measures and announcements in the prefecture here
Measures taken by the French government (so far) include:
- The activation of the ORSAN REB plan to organize the mobilization of the health system to prepare for a possible active circulation of the Coronavirus COVID-19 on French territory
- In collaboration with WHO, the situation and updates in other countries around the world is being closely monitored
- Communication and updates announced about newly confirmed cases ONLY (suspected cases, or possible cases under investigation are not reported upon
- Events cancelled
- Schools closed until further notice (all levels from daycare to Uni) from 16th March
- Daycare for medical staff will remain available
- Babysitting on an individual basis is okay (per Gouvernement.fr)
- Retired medical staff and medical students are being mobilised
- Military personnel mobilised to set up the necessary emergency Intensive Care units - for now in the East of France (Alsace region); as well as to act as ambulance service to bring the infected to the hospital where needed
- As of March 29th fines for being outdoors without the proper form is increased to 200 euros
FROM NOON 17TH MARCH
EXTENDED TO 15TH APRIL 2020
THOSE WHO LEAVE THEIR HOME MUST GO ONLINE TO FILL IN A "CERTIFICATE DE DÉPLACEMENT DÉROGATOIRE" THAT THEY MUST CARRY WITH THEM. FIND THE FORM HERE
Through its website, the World Health Organization or WHO reports that a scam has been started regarding the coronavirus. They report that:
"Criminals disguise themselves as WHO to steal money or sensitive information."
Criminals appear to contact us via email, websites, telephone, mobile phone, and also via fax.
Read the WHO message. It provides information on how to avoid "phishing" (as it is called in cyber-security jargon).
- Schengen borders are closing from noon March 17th.
- Scheduled surgeries are cancelled whenever possible to free hospital beds
- Elections on March 15th were scheduled to go ahead, but the March 22nd elections are postponed until 26th May 2020
- Hotels in the epicenters become temporary hospitals, and this can be expanded where needed in the country
- From 17 March at 12h00 LOCKDOWN FOR EVERYONE, with the mobilization of 100,000 gender knife and police for control. People without an "Attestation de dé placement dé rogatoire". As of 29th March fines are raised to 200 euros
- New measures will be put in place for patients to consult doctors via video-call
- Public transport to operate on a reduced schedule
- Cafés, restaurants, nightclubs, discotheques, cinemas and all non-essential shops closed indefinitely
- Pharmacies, petrol stations, grocery stores, and newsagents remain open
- A list of all measures here
- G7 statement here
The number of coronavirus patients in France has risen to
130 (2/3/2020), 190 (3/3/2020), 212 (4/3/2020), 285 (5/3/2020) 420 (6/3/2020) 613 (7/3/2020) 946 (8/3/2020) 1126 (9/3/2020) 1412 (10/3/2020) 1784 (11/3/2020) 2281 (12/3/2020) 2860 (13/3/2020) 3640 (14/3/2020) 4500 (15/3/2020) 5400 (16/3/2020) 6573 (17/3/2020 - START OF QUARANTINE) 7730 (18/3/2020) 9 134 (19/3/2020) 10,995 (20/3/2020) 12,475 (21/3/2020) 14,296 (23/3/2020) 19,856 (24/3/2020) 25,233 (26/3/2020) 29,155 (27/3/2020) 37,575 (29/3/2020) 40,174 (30/3/2020) 44,550 (31/3/2020) 52,128 (01/4/2020-AM). For now the country is still at Stage 2 (meaning the necessary steps are taken to slow the spreading of the illness. Even though the government has said that Stage 3 seems inevitable, they remain determined to implement measures "in stages as they become necessary". A total of 3523 patients have died from the illness in France so far, and over 36 405 worldwide. The below interactive map shows the spread of the virus with details. To find out what to do in case of suspected Covid-19 in your home, and for a global map, keep reading.
What are the symptoms?
Please consult the World Health Organisation's Q & A page for all of your questions, concerns and the very latest updates. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, and dry cough. People with high blood pressure, diabetes or heart issues are at higher risk. The incubation period is 1-14 days, but five days seems to be the most common.
What to do in case of symptoms?
- The government of France has activated a 24/7 toll-free number for your questions about the Coronavirus COVID-19 : 0 800 130 000. (not to be used for medical advice)
- If you present signs of respiratory infections within 14 days of your return from China (mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao), Singapore, South Korea, Iran or the Lombardy and Veneto regions of Italy, please dial the number 15 on your telephone.
- If you are on holiday and suspect the illness, please contact your local embassy or consulate.
To date, over 750 890 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus have been reported involving just about every country in the world. From 11th March WHO have deemed the virus a pandemic. You can find an up-to-date global map here. Please follow virus protocols as described in the above pamphlet provided by the government. On Wednesday March 4th, G7 and EU will discuss coordinated responses to the coronavirus epidemic. Expect further announcements and monitor reputable news sources such as France24 (English) for up-to-date information. This article will be updated as more information or updates become available.
Stay healthy everybody!