President Macron speech to offer clarity on lockdown end

President Macron is to speak at 20:00 this Tuesday, in a bid to provide ‘clarity and coherence’ on the ‘misery without end’ ahead of lockdown lifting

22 November 2020
President Macron speaking. President Macron speech to offer ‘clarity’ on lockdown endThe President has said he will aim to end uncertainty around the future of lockdown and lifting the restrictions
By Hannah Thompson

President Macron is aiming to provide “clarity and coherence” on his plans to lift lockdown, and to stop the “uncertainty and misery without end”, in a speech at 20:00 this Tuesday November 24.

The President is to reveal more details on the plans to gradually lift lockdown, and will aim to “end uncertainty” over the health crisis, and set out a clear plan for what may happen next, as the country prepares to come out of this second lockdown.

His speech is set to be televised from 20:00 this Tuesday.

Mr Macron said: “Nothing is worse than uncertainty and the impression of misery without end. We need coherence, clarity, and an end. To know where we are going together, and how to get there.

“It is difficult, as the pandemic is inherently unpredictable and global. But that is the key to confidence, which is itself the key to success. There is no fatalism. Crises can be, overall, accelerators for progress.

“We must be able to meet History. And France has all the qualities needed to do so.”

President Macron is not expected to announce an end to the current confinement immediately, but to detail future plans on how it may be lifted, depending on the developing health situation.

 

Gradual deconfinement

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal has already said deconfinement will likely take place in “three stages”, and be a gradual process.

He said: “[Relaxing] confinement will happen in three stages depending on the changing health situation and risks linked to certain activities. Firstly around December 1, then before the end-of-year holidays, then from January 2021.

“Lockdown will continue, and limits on travel will remain too. The President is aware of the efforts people are making and the importance of work, but certain establishments, such as bars and restaurants, will continue to see restrictions.”

Read more: What might France’s progressive deconfinement look like?

Health Minister Olivier Véran has also said that lockdown will need to be lifted slowly. He told newspaper le Journal du Dimanche: “Today, the spread of the virus in this country is the same as it was during the curfew. There is no question of lifting the lockdown [now].”

Prime Minister Jean Castex has already said that an exemption form will still be required to leave the house after December 1.

Covid-19 in France: Latest figures

The most recent figures from Santé publique France (November 21) shows that there were 15,989 new cases in the past 24 hours, and 276 new hospital deaths. The test positivity level was at 14.8%.

There were 14,254 new hospital admissions in the past seven days, of which 2,168 were in intensive care.

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