On Friday, the Federal Council announced that it was giving up the openings scheduled for Monday, in particular terraces and cultural and sports halls. We will have to wait four more weeks.
■ One in three French people confined
A third of the French wake up on Saturday under a new kind of confinement, with walks authorized for several hours, but within a restricted radius of 10 km, and part of the shops closed.
Since that night, at midnight, sixteen departments have been subject for at least four weeks to these restrictions, much lighter than the first national confinement of just a year ago: the eight of Ile-de-France, the five Hauts-de-France, Seine-Maritime, Eure and Alpes-Maritimes. That is to say 21 million inhabitants, including the 12 million of the Paris region, the economic heart of the country. Interregional travel is prohibited, except for “compelling reasons”.
As in Switzerland, the list of “essential” businesses arouses discussion, if not astonishment. Florists, chocolate makers, car dealerships and shops for the repair and maintenance of musical instruments will be able to remain open in the 16 departments subject to reconfinement from Saturday, according to a decree published on Saturday in the Official Journal, specifying an announcement from the Ministry of ‘economy.
■ The press understands the Federal Council’s decision
The Federal Council decided on Friday to postpone the main easing measures. Although frustrating, this decision was consistent in view of the epidemiological situation, estimates the Swiss press on Saturday morning.
Freedom notes that the Federal Council wants to avoid losing control of the situation while the vaccination campaign, which is starting to bear fruit, could be undermined by the virus. And to conclude that “the turnaround announced yesterday is consistent. Just like the sugar granted to the population in the private circle to keep their membership. “
The Daily indicator goes in the same direction. For the German-speaking newspaper, as painful as it is, the Federal Council’s restraint is correct. He adds that it is important to proceed with caution until the vaccination campaign offers better protection.
In view of the number of cases, the Federal Council’s approach seems understandable, also writes the NZZ. And to conclude that there is no other solution for the moment than to put up with the annoying stop and go management. What is missing, the newspaper believes, is a prospect that goes beyond the anxious hope of vaccine deliveries and the miraculous drop in the number of cases during the summer.
In Time, our journalist underlines for his part that “the population rejoiced too soon and the Federal Council spoke too quickly”. He recalls that, last week, the Federal Council had launched “a simple consultation” and that “nobody wanted to hear the caveats emitted by Alain Berset on a possible deterioration of the pandemic situation”.
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