new 4-week lockdown as from Friday midnight

Who would have thought that one year on we’d still be battling this virus? Exactly one year ago, President Macron appeared on television with a dramatic speech – “We are at war,” he said several times to a stunned nation. And then the whole country shut down.

One year later, sixteen departments only will be in lockdown for four weeks: Ile de France which includes Paris, Hauts-de-France, Alpes-Maritimes, Seine-Maritime and Eure. The national curfew will be pushed forward one hour to 7 pm instead of 6 pm. That is good news.

As usual, there are contradictions and for the moment no one knows exactly what the rules are. For example, Prime Minister Castex insists on the necessity of working at home (télétravail) at least 4 days a week. But in the chart below, it says that we’re to be in lockdown all week. So which is it? Can I go to the office one day a week or do I have to stay at home all week? Also, I have an appointment at my local Préfecture on Monday. Will it be open? Closed?

For weeks now, the national curfew has been 6 pm which makes it difficult to go food shopping. Most people who work full-time leave the office at 6 pm. Today I wanted to go food shopping on my lunch hour, but it was raining so I didn’t. My fridge and larder bare, I ended up baking a batch of oatmeal-raisin cookies for my dinner tonight.

Here’s a REUTERS report on the subject –

France to impose light new lockdown in Paris and other areas

PARIS, March 18 (Reuters) – Several French regions badly hit by the COVID-19 epidemic, including the Ile-de-France region around Paris, will start a new four-week lockdown from Friday, but schools will remain open and confinement will be less strict than in previous nationwide lockdowns, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Friday.

He also announced a nationwide curfew will be moved back by an hour to start at 1900 CET (1800 GMT).

Caste said essential goods shops, including bookstores, will remain open and outdoor activities will be allowed in a 10 km radius, but inter-regional travel will not be allowed.

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