France will require masks in all public indoor areas starting next week

France will make masks compulsory in all public indoor areas starting next week, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Thursday, as the authorities try to contain an uptick of coronavirus cases in recent days.

President Emmanuel Macron had initially suggested the rule would into effect Aug. 1, but Mr. Castex said the requirement would start earlier because Aug. 1 “sounded late.” An exact date was not announced.

Masks were already obligatory on public transportation in France, but there have been countless examples in recent days of people flouting social-distancing rules or not wearing masks inside — including during government meetings — raising concerns that the lack of precautions could trigger a wave of infections.

Britain announced similar measures this week, with face coverings compulsory in shops and supermarkets starting on July 24.

Source: The New York Times

Macron vs Yellow Vests

Macron: Wearing masks ‘in enclosed public spaces’ to become mandatory in France

France will in the next few weeks make it compulsory for people to wear masks in shops and other enclosed public spaces to stop a resurgence of the COVID-19 outbreak, President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday.

The virus, which killed more than 30,000 people in France, has been on the decline, but Macron said it was spreading again in some places as France opens up beaches, bars and restaurants after a two-month lockdown.

“We have some signs that it’s coming back a bit,” Macron said in an interview with French broadcasters. “Faced with that, we must anticipate and prepare.

“I want us, in the next few weeks, to make masks compulsory in enclosed public places.

“I ask fellow citizens to wear masks as much as possible when they are outside, and especially so when they are in an enclosed space,” Macron said.

Source: Macron: Wearing masks ‘in enclosed public spaces’ to become mandatory in France

Johnson, Macron to honour the 80th anniversary of the French Resistance

French President Emmanuel Macron has met Prince Charles in London ahead of crunch quarantine talks with Boris Johnson later. They appeared to only be around 1m apart – as is the rule in France.

The French President and Duchess of Cornwall pressed their hands together to greet each other instead of shaking them. The trio then traveled to Carlton Gardens in central London for a short ceremony to commemorate the wartime President Charles De Gaulle, near where he made his famous speech on BBC radio which inspired the French resistance while under Nazi occupation.

Macron laid wreaths at the statues of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth before giving a short address praising Britain and wartime hero PM Winston Churchill.

The French President said this afternoon: “On the 18 June 1940, Churchill and de Gaulle sounded the words of resistance and hope. “The French army had been defeated in only six weeks, there was despair. But already a patriotic pride and a sense of honour and a strong will to resist lit up french hearts, and especially that of General De Gaulle.

“He refused defeat and he decided to carry on the fight. “He had to find somewhere to shelter, a place for his exile. That was London. The hope was embodied by the last European country able to carry on fighting.

“Winston Churchill refused to give in and did not give in. “He said he had nothing to offer but blood, sweat and tear but he offered so much more. “Determination, faith in victory, honour and pride.”

Lockdown Diary: Why I’m grateful for being on lockdown in Paris

“I’m grateful to be living in France, where there is universal healthcare and where the president has chosen to save human lives over the economy.”

Today, March 25, is the eighth full day of living in true confinement. As of Tuesday, March 17, at noon, the whole country of France has been on lockdown.

It was nearly two weeks ago that President Emmanuel Macron earnestly asked us to stay home, and the Prime Minister Édouard Philippe ordered all non-essential businesses to close at midnight. By March 15, there were whispers on the street that the government would be locking down, with the military and all, because the people here weren’t taking it seriously, and the infection and death rates were rising.

I’d been preparing for weeks.

Food Stored in Apt: Eileen Cho during Paris lockdown
The author’s stored food and books. 
Eileen W. Cho

Because most of my family is located in South Korea and Seattle, Washington, two places that were hit hard by the pandemic, and

Continue reading “Lockdown Diary: Why I’m grateful for being on lockdown in Paris”

France ‘at war’: how Parisians are coping with life under lockdown

Residents of the French capital are adjusting to the country’s toughest restrictions on public life outside wartime

And suddenly, it was August. Grudgingly but obediently, the rue des Martyrs in Paris’s ninth arrondissement entered lockdown at midday on Tuesday, the few people on its pavements making their way home, baguettes and shopping bags in hand.

By 12.30pm, half an hour after France’s new reality – in essence, no going out unless to buy food or essentials, visit the doctor or get to a job certified as not doable from home – came into force, the normally bustling shopping street had emptied. Continue reading “France ‘at war’: how Parisians are coping with life under lockdown”