UPDATE: Where are France’s 42 coronavirus ‘red zones’?

The number of Covid-19 'red zones' in France - meaning the virus is actively circulating has risen to 42. Here's where they are.

UPDATE: Where are France's 42 coronavirus 'red zones'?
Photo: AFP

France has seen a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases over recent weeks across the territory, and the government this week bumped another 14 départements up to “red” alert. 

Previously there were 28 (see map below) zed zones in France, but French PM Jean Castex announced the number had risen to 42 during a televised speech on Friday September 11th.

The government categorises a département as red when the spread of Covid-19 in the area reaches a level they consider alarming enough give local authorities extra powers to contain the spread.

A  red zone generally has recorded more than 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days, but the government also looks as other factors such as pressure on hospitals in the area.

In summary, if a département is classed as red it's not positive news.

France's Health Ministry published the latest list and a map of the 42 départements.

The latest list of “red” départements in mainland France is as follows: Paris,
Seine et Marne, Yvelines, Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Val-d’Oise, Loiret, Côte d’Or, Seine-Maritime, Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Bas-Rhin, Sarthe, Maine-et-Loire, Loire-Atlantique ;Îlle et Vilaine, Gironde, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Hérault, Haute-Garonne, Gard, Tarn-et-Garonne, Pyréné, Orientales, Aude, Rhône, Ain,  Puy-de-Dôme, Loire, Isère, Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches du Rhône, Var, Vaucluse, Corse-du-Sud, Haute-Corse.




The overseas départements of Guadeloupe, La Reunion and Martinique are also red zones.

Guyane and Mayotte are classed purple because they are still under a state of health emergency.

The government bases its decision to label a zone red on data collected by the public health agency Santé Publique France, which follows the development of Covid-19 in France in detail, both on a nationwide and a local level.

The ruling strategy since the end of lockdown has been to avoid nationwide blanket measures to the extent possible and rather trust local authorities with the power to take the best decisions adapted to their zones. 

Some local authorities in hotspot areas have issued rules such as closing bars earlier than usual. In Marseille, which has been a red zone for several weeks, all bars bars and restaurants close at 11pm in a attempt to curb the spread. 

To know exactly what it means to be living in a red zone CLICK HERE.

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New Covid wave in autumn ‘virtually certain’ say French experts

The head of the government's new health advisory body says that a surge of Covid cases when the French head back to work after the summer break is virtually certain.

New Covid wave in autumn 'virtually certain' say French experts

Immunologist Brigitte Autran, president of new government health advisory body the Comité de veille et d’anticipation des risques sanitaires (Committee to monitor and anticipate health risks) which has replaced the Conseil scientifique, told Le Parisien that “the Covid epidemic is not behind us” and said that the French would have to get used to “living with” the virus.

The Covidtracker website currently shows that the virus is in decline across France, with the R-rate currently at 0.7 – any figure lower than one indicates that the number of infections is falling.

Autran, whose appointment as head of the new body was confirmed on Wednesday, said that the most likely scenario was for a “new epidemic peak in the autumn”, when people return to work after the summer holidays.

“Will it be due to a new variant or the return of cold weather?” she said. “We are not soothsayers, but it is almost certain that there will be a wave.”

“Today, we must go towards living with it,” she added, reintroducing the French to an expression previously used by President Emmanuel Macron and several ministers.

“This does not mean accepting the deaths or the severity of the disease,” she went on, pointing to the fact that health authorities in France still have “levers to activate” to fight the virus. 

Despite the fact that nearly 80 percent (79.6 percent) of people over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated against the virus, she said that, “unfortunately there are still too many people who have not been vaccinated or revaccinated.”

And she said the new body would work with the government to improve the public’s access to drugs, such as Paxlovid, and vaccines.

Vaccination is still open to anyone who has not yet had their shots, while a second booster shot is on offer to certain groups including over 60s, pregnant women, those with health conditions or people who are in close contact with vulnerable people.

EXPLAINED Who qualifies for a second Covid vaccine booster shot in France?

The French government in August voted to end to State of Emergency that allowed it to impose measures like travel bans and lockdowns, although further restrictions could be put in place if cases rise again and parliament agrees.