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Deconfinement in France: Colour-coded map FAQs

Daily Covid-19 briefings in France are set to include a colour-coded map of the country after the Prime Minister last night announced deconfinement plans. We explain what we know so far.

Director general for health Jérôme Salomon is to include a map of France in his daily coronavirus briefings from Thursday April 30. This map will assign either the colour red or green to each department, depending on its status.

As the prime minister explained in his speech last night, departments will be labelled either green or red depending how active the virus is in that area, the capacity of local hospitals, and how many tests are available.

Deconfinement will begin to varying degrees - depending on whether a department is red or green - from May 11.

Read more: Deconfinement in France will be in stages from May 11

Mr Philippe said: “Not all areas have been affected in the same way by the epidemic. We all hope that from May 11, even if the virus continues to spread in some departments; its presence will be low to none in others.”

National news service FranceInfo has explained in more detail what this new map system will mean. We summarise and translate.

What will the map mean?

The map will be updated daily. It will show the departments in which the virus is still present (and therefore where the healthcare system is still struggling); and those in which it is beginning to recede. The former will be coloured red; the latter green.

This map will be initially presented on Thursday April 30. One week later, on May 7, it is expected to include an updated picture of the situation, and set out exact deconfinement measures for each department.

From May 11, deconfinement will begin. Red departments will have stricter de-confinement measures than green departments.

The map will continue to be updated each day, allowing restrictions to be adjusted depending on the state of each department.


How will the colour be decided?

Mr Philippe said: “The general director for health and [health agency] Santé Publique France have established three groups of criteria allowing us to identify the departments in which deconfinement must be more strict.”

These are:

  1. The number of new cases in the department over the past seven days. If this remains high, the department will be considered as an active zone, in which the virus is still spreading.
  2. The intensive care capacity of local hospitals. The more beds available, the less pressure on the health system in a given department.
  3. The level of preparation of the local testing and contact-tracing systems

The government has not yet revealed the exact data or threshold departments will need to be classed either red or green, but it suggested that all three of these criteria will need to be matched before a department can be coloured green.

What will the rules be in red or green departments?

Mr Philippe explained: “This map will guide [behaviour] in each department in preparation for May 11. [Red departments] will see a stricter deconfinement.”

For example, the opening of collèges - starting with sixième (age 11) and cinquième (age 12) - will begin from May 18, but only in departments in which the virus is “very weak”, Mr Philippe said.

Red departments may be required to wait longer.

The same rules will apply to the reopening of spaces such as parks and urban gardens, which will only be allowed to open “in departments where the virus is not actively circulating”, said Mr Philippe.

He also said that gatherings will be limited to 10 people, and that big events such as festivals and exhibitions, will only be allowed to resume in September onwards.

Related stories

Deconfinement in France: schools and transport plan
Deconfinement in France: Masks, tests and shops

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