In France, the latest assessment provided by health authorities concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, reports at least 2,914,725 confirmed total cases, with 3,736 new infections and 404 deaths in the 24 hours to Monday.
This brings to 70,686 the total number of deaths, with 21,406 of those in EHPADs (care homes) and 49,327 in EMS (medico-socio centres).
The reproduction rate R is 1.14, the incidence rate is 188, which continues the trend that the epidemic is still on the rise.
France currently has 25,584 people in hospital with Covid-19, of which 2,803 patients are in intensive care.
100 departments are currently in a situation of “high vulnerability”, with the hospital figures and number of deaths to Sunday listed by region below:
- Ile-de-France: 4,814 hospitalised and 48 deaths in 24 hours
- Grand Est: 3,129 hospitalisations and 65 deaths in 24 hours
- Hauts de France: 2,384 hospitalised and 31 deaths in 24 hours
- Auvergne Rhône Alpes: 3,940 hospitalised and 66 deaths in 24 hours
- Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur: 2,724 hospitalised and 51 deaths in 24 hours
- Brittany: 588 hospitalised and 11 deaths in 24 hours
- Normandy: 1,283 hospitalised and 17 deaths in 24 hours
- Nouvelle-Aquitaine: 1,269 hospitalisations and 26 deaths in 24 hours
- Pays de la Loire: 890 hospitalised and 16 deaths in 24 hours
- Occitanie: 1,486 hospitalisations and 16 deaths in 24 hours
- Centre-Val de Loire: 1,003 hospitalised and 17 deaths in 24 hours
- Burgundy-Franche-Comté: 1,871 hospitalised and 37 deaths in 24 hours
- France currently has 1,921 clusters, including 725 in Ehpads
Full curfew in place, negative tests required for UK travellers
The French government announced a 6pm-6am curfew for the whole country, beginning last Saturday.
The other major development this week has been the announcement of tighter restrictions set to come into effect from January 18 for travellers entering France from non-EU countries, which now of course includes the United Kingdom. Everyone will need to present a negative Covid-19 test, dated before their departure, and they are also being advised to self-isolate for seven days once they get to France. Read more about about travel restrictions here.
As we reported last week, France’s bars, restaurants and cafés must remain shut until at least the middle of February. As for sports centres, cinemas, theatres, museums and ski lifts, a decision will be made on their reopening tomorrow (Wednesday January 20) with a mooted re-opening for the beginning of February.
Vaccination appointments system will improve, says minister
The system for making appointments for Covid-19 vaccinations will be improved, said the French Health Minister, Olivier Véran yesterday.
He added that two million vaccination appointments will have been made by today, with 500,000 slots becoming available in the coming days.
In some parts of France, there have been reports of patients needing to wait for up to two months before securing a jab slot. As of yesterday, the over 75s not in care homes and without serious health issues, can make an appointment. You can make an appointment via Doctolib, Keldoc and Maiia.
Mr Véran said that new measures will be in place for those who could not find an available slot. “I have asked my teams as well as providers that before the weekend, when you are in phone contact with a centre or when you go to the website but you don’t have a slot available, we register your contact information and we remind you when slots are available for vaccination,” he said. “There will be no need to call back.”
Curfew slowed infection rates in 15 departments
Mr Véran said early indications show that in 15 of the departments where the 6pm curfew was first put in place on January 2, infection rates slowed. “According to the figures I had last night, we saw that in the 15 departments… the incidence, the number of new diagnoses were decreasing”, showing a rate of “minus 16% over a week or so”.
Ski resorts suffer from closures
The 2021/21 ski season looks set to be disastrous for ski resorts, who were deprived of 80% of visitors over Christmas due to the closure of ski lifts, restaurants, bars and discos.
The loss of turnover for the whole sector during the two weeks at the end of December could amount to €1.5 billion. And according to Le Monde and BFMTV, the government has already agreed to maintain the closure during February’s half-term holidays.
Speaking on the France 5 programme C à vous yesterday about imposing closures on businesses, France’s Prime Minster Jean Castex said: “I’d rather do something else than tell the French I’m closing theatres, sports halls, restaurants. I’m doing this because it’s my duty, it’s the first priority, to ensure the health of my fellow citizens in the face of this crisis.”
“Afterwards, I am open to any accompanying measures to show those suffering that we are taking the widest possible national solidarity,” he added.