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France at the start of the de-escalation intensifies surveillance in public transport as the main source of contagion for COVID-19

Paris / France began the process of de-escalation on Monday, very progressive, with a particular focus on public transport and the new law on health emergency still pending entry into force for legal reasons.

Public transport, especially in the Paris metropolitan area, was under surveillance from early in the morning for being one of the main places of potential contagion, with brigades of the companies themselves supported by the forces of order.

In the North Station, the busiest in the capital, dozens of employees of the metropolitan transport company RATP, channeled the circulation of passengers -much fewer than there are in normal time- and from 7.00 in the morning (5.00 GMT) They distributed masks, initially with a certain disorder, aided by police.

The distancing rules were not complied with in many points of the stations, or inside some suburban trains, as recognized by the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, in an interview with the channel “BFMTV.

Mandatory use of mask in public transport

Starting this Monday, it is mandatory in France to wear a mask on public transport and also at stations, just as it is mandatory in Paris to have a company certificate that justifies using it during peak hours, although law enforcement agencies are instructed not to impose during the first days the expected fines of 135 euros.

The RATP has planned for this first day of lack of confidence the circulation of “more than 75%” of the subways, commuter trains, trams and buses.

Opening of shops and population movements

Beyond transport, this Monday they can open all kinds of shops, except bars, cafes, restaurants and hotels, which will have to wait at least until the beginning of June.

Neither can some large shopping malls and galleries in the Paris region.

The population can move from this Monday without needing to justify it within a radius of 100 kilometers around their home. Beyond that distance, it is still necessary to have an “imperious” motive.

Tourist trips to other European countries in the Schengen area are not authorized and the Minister of Health said he does not know at this time if they will be possible during the summer, something that will depend on the progress of the epidemic.

Prolongation of the state of health emergency

The French Government hoped that this morning the law that prolongs the state of sanitary emergency and establishes the measures to accompany the lack of confinement would be in force, but it has not been possible because the Constitutional Council that was asked for its opinion will not issue it until this Monday.

The Elysee indicated in a statement that, to alleviate the gap, a decree has been published for this Monday and Tuesday that takes up the main measures of the law, which also includes the limitation of meetings on public roads and in spaces open to ten people.

Veran warned that if the contamination rate of infected people, which according to their services is now “a little higher than 0.6”, rose “wildly”, more stringent containment measures could be applied, which could be done in certain territories.

For the Health Minister, who is aware that with the de-escalation this contamination rate will increase, the objective is not to exceed 1, which would be the level that would indicate that the epidemic is progressing. (May 11, 2020, EFE / PracticaEspañol)

(Automatic translation)

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