A clear and categorical refusal. A sort of presidential veto, which framed the intervention of the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, in the 13 hours newspaper of TF1 on Wednesday 21 July. Before Matignon’s tenant went to television, a new health council was held in the Elysee Palace around Emmanuel Macron. With a number of sensitive points to be addressed, including the thorniest question: should new local restrictions be introduced?
In recent days, concerned about the exponential increase in the contagion, several relatives of the head of state urged him to give a spin to the departments most affected by the resumption of the epidemic. But during the defense council, Mr Macron showered the enthusiasm of supporters of the strong method: there is no doubt that the introduction of the health pass is accompanied by other deprivations of liberty.
“The president believes that we cannot combine the health pass with restrictions. It is too much “, explains a family member. Concerned about the famous “social acceptability”, Mr Macron wants no harm “Double Punishment” to the French. And so throw fuel on the fire, at the risk of blowing up the processions of antivax and anti-sanitary pass. “The president asked for pragmatism, consistency and common sense”, according to the people around him, without going anywhere.
National discourse against local reality
Rather than impose restrictions, which may be difficult to apply to French people on holiday, “The priority of the moment”, it’s the duo health vaccination pass, om “Sanitary effective”, underlines the Elysee. Hence the message from Mr Castex, on TF1: avoid “Brake measures”, “The Whole Strategy” consists of « [élargir] the health card and vaccination ”. Nothing else, to hear it.
Except that, if the national power has not announced highly visible measures from Paris, several departments are already subject to restrictions, ordered by the prefects, at the local level. Since Wednesday, wearing the mask has therefore been made compulsory again in public places in certain municipalities of Meurthe-et-Moselle and Hérault. On Monday, the wearing of masks outdoors was also restored in 45 tourist towns in the Charente-Maritime, such as Île de Ré or La Rochelle. After the state of emergency had already been restored in Martinique and Réunion – where a curfew has been in place since July 13 – the government announced on Wednesday that it wanted to do the same in Guadeloupe. And last week, in the Pyrénées-Orientales and Haute-Corse, it was decided to wear a mask outdoors and to close restaurants and bars from 11pm…
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