MAP: Is your French département at risk of being placed under ‘lockdown light’?

Three départements have been added to the list of areas in France on 'lockdown light' and others could follow as the health minister warns of an 'extremely worrying' situation.

MAP: Is your French département at risk of being placed under 'lockdown light'?
Travel between regions on lockdown light is banned. Photo: THOMAS COEX / AFP

The areas of Rhône (including the city of Lyon), Nièvre and Aube were on Thursday added to the areas of France under extra restrictions as case numbers climb.

They join 16 départements, including the whole of the greater Paris region, which were placed under extra measures from Saturday, March 20th.

While the new lockdown measures are considerably more relaxed than those in the spring an autumn, non-essential shops closed, travel banned and socialising limited.

READ ALSO These are the rules in the parts of France on ‘lockdown light’

For the rest of France, life continues as before, and even got slightly easier as the curfew moved back one hour and now runs from 7pm-6am across the country.

However several areas are approaching the same conditions as the 19 under lockdown and risk extra restrictions.

The government has said it will base the decision on three factors; the number of cases per 100,000 of the population, the situation in local hospitals, in particular the intensive care occupancy rate and the speed of the growth in case numbers.

There are 12 départements at risk under this rating, all have passed the threshold of 250 cases per 100,000 people and many are reporting severe pressure on hospitals.

The 15 départements are; Bouches-du-Rhône (including Marseille) Doubs, Eure-et-Loir, Gard, Haute-Savoie, Yonne, Hautes-Alpes, Moselle, Orne, Pyrénées-Orientales and Var.

The tiny département of Territoire de Belfort on the Swiss border is also approaching the threshold, but as its small size means it has a lot of transit through it, it seems likely that extra measures here would be co-ordinated with its neighbouring areas.

However, being on the ‘at risk’ list does not necessarily mean a département will be placed under extra restrictions.

This time the government is making decisions on a case-by-case basis taking into account a range of local factors.

The next scheduled update on the overall health situation and restrictions is on Thursday, April 1st.

Member comments

  1. The only reason the département of Eure is in the Red Zone is because a lot of Parisians fled the capital to Vernon, taking the Covid-19 with them.

    But for them the provinces don’t matter.
    Living at the other end of Eure, our safe little town is rightly highly aggrieved.

    1. It’s way too early for last week’s population movements to show up in the infection statistics.

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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.