The National Defence and Security Council met again today under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic to consider the measures to be taken with the dual objective of
– on one hand, to slow the progress of the Covid epidemic19 and,
– on the other hand, to strengthen the country’s resilience in order to guarantee the continuity of the Nation’s economic and social life even in the event of a generalized epidemic.
The country remains in stage 2, except for certain isolated territories (Corsica, Overseas) where stage 1 is maintained to avoid the introduction of the virus.
Stage 3 will be declared when the virus circulates actively throughout the national territory. Stage 3 will involve managing the consequences of the epidemic, while preserving the economic and social life of the nation. The measures to be taken, which may be sustainable, must be guided by the principle of proportionality. The passage to stage 3 will thus probably result in the alleviation of certain collective constraints.
The measures taken at the national and local levels have been reviewed by the Defence Council. It is important to say that they are constantly being adapted or clarified and that they will in particular be called upon to evolve as the situation evolves and in particular in the event of a transition to stage 3.
-With regard to health care
- Even though we are still in stage 2, the LRAs may decide, in certain territories particularly concerned, to change the health care doctrine, in particular to decide on the home and city follow-up of people who do not have severe forms of the disease.
- It is important to remember that the vast majority of forms of the disease are benign.
With regard to gatherings :
- In clusters, they remain strictly limited, at the local discretion of the mayor and the State representative;
- Outside the clusters, the double instruction given on Saturday remains in force. A decree of the Minister of Health and a joint internal / MSS circular are issued today to indicate the legal basis to be retained and harmonize the conditions of application throughout the territory, while leaving a margin of local discretion to prefects and DG ARS.
- Gatherings in a confined space of more than 5,000 people are prohibited by the prefect. This rule applies in the same place and at the same time.
- Gatherings in open places should only be prohibited if they lead to the movement of populations from areas where the virus circulates in particular. In this respect, sports competitions, markets and outdoor shows do not necessarily have to be banned.
- Within and outside the clusters, sick people are instructed not to mingle in gatherings and to avoid contact with vulnerable people (the elderly, patients suffering from long-lasting conditions that weaken their immune defences, …).
– Concerning schools :
- In clusters, prefects, rectors and DG ARS may have to decide to close a school depending on the number of cases of children or teachers infected or suspected to have been in contact with positive cases.
- Outside clusters, the closure of a school must be decided in conjunction with the interministerial task force.
- Children of an infected person should not go to school.
- These measures are taken even though the risk for children is recognized as very low, and only to slow down the progression of the epidemic. They are to be reviewed if the country were to go to stage 3.
- A distance education system via the CNED is being set up by the MEN;
– With regard to individual protection measures
- The importance of barrier measures is recalled
- Wash your hands regularly
- Cough into your elbow
- Do not shake hands / kiss each other
- Use disposable tissues
- In case of symptoms, limit contact with vulnerable people. Do not bring children with you when visiting the elderly.
- Wear a mask only if you are ill on a doctor’s prescription.
- With regard to masks :
- It has been scientifically confirmed that, with regard to Covid19, the so-called surgical (anti-projection) masks have an efficiency equivalent to that of specialized FFP2 masks. The latter must therefore be strictly reserved for the use of healthcare professionals who perform invasive procedures in critical care or are exposed to infectious agents such as tuberculosis.
- A decree published today and coming into force immediately allows the State to requisition stocks of masks and future production. Out of a strategic stock of 150M masks, the State has just destocketed some for health professionals, via pharmacies, targeting clusters as a priority. Manufacturers are meeting today to maximize production and optimize logistics circuits.
- The DGS defines with the learned societies, the rules of use of surgical masks. Must be equipped :
- Health professionals who practice in health care institutions
- Liberal Health Professionals
- Contaminated people
- All Ministries, and all Vital Importance Operators, especially transport companies, have been asked for several weeks to ensure that their business continuity plans are up to date and ready to be activated. These plans allow the continued exercise of critical functions of the State and companies producing essential goods or services.
- These plans require everyone to demonstrate accountability and adherence to health requirements. Concern is understandable. However, the Defence Council recalled that in view of the conditions of transmission of the virus (close and prolonged contact with contaminated persons) and as long as employers comply with the recommendations issued by the Government to avoid the risks of transmission, staff cannot invoke a “right of withdrawal”.
- In addition to the decree to requisition the masks, a mechanism to control the price of hydro-alcoholic gel will be put in place to put an end to the shameful speculation that has begun. The DGCCRF monitors consumption behaviour and can guarantee that there is no tension over the distribution of basic necessities. Consumers are therefore advised not to change their habits; there is no need to build up stocks.
- A support mechanism (cash measures, short-time working) is set up for the most affected sectors.
- In coordination with our European neighbours, measures to stimulate growth will be studied.
- Health Ministers meet on Friday. The President of the Republic is in constant contact with the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Council and his counterparts to coordinate the collective European response.
The High Council of Public Health has been asked to define precisely the doctrine concerning vulnerable persons.
The use of masks outside these indications is useless. It is necessary to appeal to everyone’s responsibility. Inappropriate behaviour can alter the work of our health professionals.
– With regard to business continuity plans
– With regard to economic measures
– With regard to European coordination