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Paris passes alert level as Covid cases rise

Paris has passed the official alert level of 50 cases per 100,000 people as cases in France, after many weeks of decline, begin to rise again.

Paris passes alert level as Covid cases rise
Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP

Although cases around France remain low, with a national incidence level of 24.1, the rise of cases in the capital has worried local health officials.

In better news, the south western département of Landes, which had previously gone over the threshold of 50 after seeing a surge in cases of the delta variant, has seen case numbers fall after drives to increase testing and vaccinations in the area.

In Paris the incidence rate has doubled in just a week, although it remains far below the incidence rate of 500 seen just before the partial lockdown in April and May this year.

Experts say that the case numbers are particularly high in younger people. Among 20-29 year-olds, the incidence rose from 47 to 124 in one week. Among 10-19 year-olds, it jumped from 28 to 95. With its comparatively young population, Paris has a lower than average vaccination level with 57.2 percent of people having received at least one dose and 24.9 percent fully vaccinated.

“The Delta variant is progressing very quickly. It represents more than half of the cases in Paris,” said Aurelien Rousseau, Director General of the Regional Health Agency for Île-de-France, adding: “Only vaccination will allow us to escape from the picture that is taking shape.”

On a national level, the delta variant now represents 30 percent of cases in France, although in the southern Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region this jumps to over 60 percent. Overall, case numbers seem to have plateaued and are now seeing a slight rise.

Experts are predicting a fourth wave of Covid cases, driven by the delta variant in the coming weeks. While earlier predictions focused on September or October, health minister Olivier Véran earlier this week warned that the fourth wave could be here by the end of July.

Data from the UK, where the delta variant now makes up almost all cases, shows a big rise in case numbers coupled with a smaller but still noticeable rise in hospitalisations.

Member comments

  1. The solution? if you can get yourself to a test centre, don’t do it, stay home as long as you feel poorly and only get tested if you get really sick or very worried. It has been enough now, give people their autonomy back, you should already be vaccinated by now if that’s your thing and if not also alright but you have a higher chance to get covid and hassle around travel, everyone knows that. Yes some people might die, but many die in traffic also and we do not put restrictions on cars like males from 18 to 25 are only allowed to drive from 8.00 to 17.00.

    1. The first part is terrible advice. The whole point of Covid is that a lot of people are asymptomatic but can transmit it to other people who then get sick or die. And the reason why France didn’t have a post-Christmas wave of the same magnitude as other countries is because they had a mass testing programme where people would get tested before seeing their relatives.

      As for the second part, no we don’t put restrictions on when people can travel in cars but we do have laws like wearing seatbelts or not drinking/talking on the phone while driving. I’m not saying we should return to confinement, but nor should we repeal all restrictions until enough young people are vaccinated or sufficient treatment is available that Covid is manageable and doesn’t either give tons of people long Covid or run a greater risk of the virus mutating into a vaccine-resistant strain.

  2. Is it really terrible advice? I said stay home if you feel sick. Asymptomatic? Possible but not a high risk for vaccinated people. The reality is everyone who wanted to be vaccinated could have been by now, even my 15 year old is fully vaccinated tomorrow. New strains? well that’s what virussen do, nothing new here, it won’t go on forever, in the worst case they can modify the vaccines. No point in fearing things who might never happen.
    Long covid? Are there statistics a out how many fully vaccinated people got long covid? How many people are really having long covid and how many are sick from being scared and a bit hypochondriac? I am not saying it does not exist, it does, but I have no idea how bad this problem really is.
    By all means get tested if you visit high risk people, everyone without underlying illness under 40 in the western world is low risk. But do not force responsible fully vaccinated people to stay at home when they are not sick, that’s madness. Only because there was a positive person in the same shop. Underwhile they allow sport matches and concerts…….. don’t think that mask prevent covid!
    With all respect I understand what you are saying but the reality is that there is no longer a need to controle people, just incase that the hospitals get over full, put restrictions in when that happens. People can make up their own mind about what is sensible when it comes to get vaccinated and your behaviours. I fully support people who choose not to get vaccinated, that’s everyones own choice, I was very reluctant but decided to go ahead after I informed myself and concluded being reluctant is natural, but are my fears realistic? I concluded they were unfounded.

  3. I am just back from a trip to Paris. I had to get an antigen test in order to return to the states. I went to a local pharmacie. All the people getting tests were twenty-somethings.

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READER INSIGHTS

‘Painful’ – is Paris Charles de Gaulle airport really that bad?

Following a survey that said Paris Charles de Gaulle airport was the best in Europe, we asked Local readers what they thought...

'Painful' - is Paris Charles de Gaulle airport really that bad?

Recently, Paris Charles de Gaulle was voted the best airport in Europe by passengers.

The 2022 World Airport Awards, based on customer satisfaction surveys between September 2021 and May 2022, listed the best airport on the planet as Doha, while Paris’s main airport came in at number 6 – the highest entry for a European airport – one place above Munich. 

READ ALSO Paris Charles de Gaulle voted best airport in Europe by passengers

Given CDG’s long-standing reputation doesn’t quite match what the World Airport Awards survey said – in 2009 it was rated the second-worst airport in the world, while in 2011 US site CNN judged it “the most hated airport in the world” – we wondered how accurate the survey could be.

So we asked readers of The Local for their opinion on their experience of Europe’s ‘best’ airport. 

Contrary to the World Airport Awards study, users erred towards the negative about the airport. A total 30.8 percent of Local readers – who had travelled through the airport in recent months – thought it was ‘terrible’, while another 33.3 percent agreed that it was ‘not great’ and had ‘some problems’.

But in total 12.8 percent of those who responded to our survey thought the airport was ‘brilliant’, and another 23.1 percent thought it ‘fine’, with ‘no major problems’.

So what are the problems with it?

Signage 

One respondent asked a simple – and obvious – question: “Why are there so many terminal twos?”

Barney Lehrer added: “They should change the terminal number system.”

In fact, signage and directions – not to mention the sheer size of the place – were common complaints, as were onward travel options. 

Christine Charaudeau told us: “The signage is terrible. I’ve often followed signs that led to nowhere. Thankfully, I speak French and am familiar with the airport but for first time travellers … yikes!”

Edwin Walley added that it was, “impossible to get from point A to point B,”  as he described the logistics at the airport as the “worst in the world”.

And James Patterson had a piece of advice taken from another airport. “The signage could be better – they could take a cue from Heathrow in that regard.”

Anthony Schofield said: “Arriving by car/taxi is painful due to congestion and the walk from the skytrain to baggage claim seems interminable.”

Border control

Border control, too, was a cause for complaint. “The wait at the frontière is shameful,” Linda, who preferred to use just her first name, told us. “I waited one and a half hours standing, with a lot of old people.”

Sharon Dubble agreed. She wrote: “The wait time to navigate passport control and customs is abysmal!”

Deborah Mur, too, bemoaned the issue of, “the long, long wait to pass border control in Terminal E, especially at 6am after an overnight flight.”

Beth Van Hulst, meanwhile, pulled no punches with her estimation of border staff and the airport in general. “[It] takes forever to go through immigration, and staff deserve their grumpy reputation. Also, queuing is very unclear and people get blocked because the airport layout is not well designed.”

Jeff VanderWolk highlighted the, “inadequate staffing of immigration counters and security checkpoints”, while Karel Prinsloo had no time for the brusque attitudes among security and border personnel. “Officers at customs are so rude. I once confronted the commander about their terrible behaviour.  His response said it all: ‘We are not here to be nice’. Also the security personnel.”

Connections

One of the most-complained-about aspects is one that is not actually within the airport’s control – public transport connections.  

Mahesh Chaturvedula was just one of those to wonder about integrated travel systems in France, noting problems with the reliability of onward RER rail services, and access to the RER network from the terminal.

The airport is connected to the city via RER B, one of the capital’s notoriously slow and crowded suburban trains. Although there are plans to create a new high-speed service to the airport, this now won’t begin until after the 2024 Olympics.

Sekhar also called for, “more frequent trains from SNCF to different cities across France with respect to the international flight schedules.”

The good news

But it wasn’t all bad news for the airport, 35 percent of survey respondents said the airport had more positives than negatives, while a Twitter poll of local readers came out in favour of Charles de Gaulle.

Conceding that the airport is “too spread out”, Jim Lockard said it, “generally operates well; [and has] decent amenities for food and shopping”.

Declan Murphy was one of a number of respondents to praise the, “good services and hotels in terminals”, while Dean Millar – who last passed through Charles de Gaulle in October – said the, “signage is very good. [It is] easy to find my way around”.

He added: “Considering the size (very large) [of the airport] it is very well done.  So no complaints at all.”

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