“The master of time is the virus, unfortunately”, recognized Emmanuel Macron, last March. Eight months later, the scenario repeats itself, like a curse. If the Covid-19 has never really disappeared from the landscape, the President of the Republic thought he had kept the health issue at bay thanks to the spectacular increase in vaccination during the summer. The subject seemed far enough away to allow the tenant of the Elysee Palace to project himself towards the presidential election of April 2022 by touting a positive message made of economic recovery, reindustrialisation and, more generally, of“Hope”.
Alas, five months before the election, the coronavirus, which has infected even the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, once again dictates the health and political-media agenda. Tuesday, November 23, 30,000 new cases were recorded in the last twenty-four hours – a level that had not been observed since the spring of 2021 -, and 6,000 classes had to be closed.
The fifth wave of the epidemic sweeping over France so “Dazzling”, in the words of the government spokesperson, Gabriel Attal, obliges the executive to act to contain the outbreak and, above all, to avoid thrombosis of hospital services. Wednesday, November 24, a new health defense council must enlighten the Head of State in his choices. “ As always, we move forward in the light of science, with pragmatism ”, warned Emmanuel Macron, Monday, during a trip to Amiens.
“Wanting to put people back into confinement is like trying to cap a bottle of champagne, that wouldn’t work” Bruno Bonnell, LRM deputy
In detail, no measure depriving citizens of the freedom of movement or restricting commercial activity is on the agenda. At this stage, it is only a question of strengthening barrier measures that had, in recent weeks, been relaxed, such as wearing a mask indoors or re-establishing gauges during gatherings. Difficult, for the moment, to go further. “The limit of tolerability would be the masks to be put back in the street. But wanting to put people back in confinement is like trying to cap a bottle of champagne, that wouldn’t work ”, summarizes the deputy La République en Marche (LRM) of the Rhône, Bruno Bonnell. But the question arises of expanding access to the booster dose.
Possible opening to all adults of the vaccination booster
To date, only those over 65 have the opportunity to take this third dose, under penalty of losing their health pass as of December 15. And at 1is December, those over 50 will, in turn, have access to this vaccine booster. On Wednesday, the government could announce “a global agenda” to extend it to other age groups, by deciding, or not, to include it in the health pass. Despite calls from part of the opposition to make so-called “comfort” tests free again, this option remains rejected by the executive.
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Covid-19 hits Emmanuel Macron’s agenda again