Easing out of Confinement, possibly starting May 11

Hi everyone,

Here’s an update on what easing out of confinement might look like here in France, based on French Prime Minister M. Edouard Philippe’s speech yesterday (April 28.).

I apologize that this post is a little stark, without photos (except for a map at the end) but I wanted to post this quickly so that you could compare your “easing out of confinement” circumstances with what’s happening here in France.

In his daily confinement blog post, our friend JJ today posted an excellent summary of Prime Minister Philippe’s speech. These notes below are based on JJ’s summary.

  • Although May 11 is a target date to start easing out of confinement, that date is not engraved in marble.
    • “If as 11 May approaches it appears that the number of new daily cases is not within the expected range – if the indicators are not there, we will not deconfine May 11.”
  • Virus numbers in each department will be analyzed
    • A department in France to me is like a county in the U.S. Each department will be classified as either Red or Green, based on three criteria (which I’ve listed below at the end of this post. I also have included a map of France Red/Green at the end of this post)*
    • Green departments will be permitted to start easing out of confinement May 11.
    • Red departments will not be permitted to start easing out of confinement May 11, and may incur additional restrictions.
  • Businesses will reopen starting May 11, but not cafés and restaurants.
    • Shopping centers of more than 40,000 square meters (430,556 square feet) will not be permitted to reopen May 11.
  • Travel:
    • Starting May 11, we can travel up to 100km (62 miles) from home without an attestation.
    • Wearing a mask will be compulsory on public transport.
    • We are not permitted to travel outside of our department.
      • Within 100 km of Carcassonne and within our department, we have the beach/Mediterranean seaside (but beaches will remain closed until at least June 1st.)
  •  Events
    • No events with more than 5,000 participants before September
    • No concerts, theaters or cinemas.
  • Local Media libraries, libraries and small museums can reopen starting May 11.
    • Big museums will remain closed.
  • Individual outdoor sporting activities will be permitted.
    • This means Jeff and I can take bike rides along the river, and will no longer be confined to the 1km radius (.66 miles) from our home. I’m looking forward to that.
  • Schools will gradually reopen starting May 11 in Green departments.
    • Parents are not obligated to send their children back to school.
    • No more than 15 children in a class at once.
    • May 11: 6 and 10 year olds can go back to school (according to my French friend Laure, who is a teacher. Six-year-olds are going back to classes, because they are focusing on reading at that age, and the government doesn’t want children to fall behind on their reading skills).
    • Starting May 18 – in Green departments middle school children can go back to school, and then at the end of May a decision will be made about whether high school children can go back to school.
    • Schools will stay open until the originally planned closing date for summer vacation – July 4. (Our summer vacation is July-August.)
    • Teachers must wear masks.
    • According to my friend Laure: Teachers will need to teach both in physical classrooms and on video/online to accommodate all students – those who do go back to the classroom, and those who don’t.
      • This will be a challenge (but a manageable one) for my friend Laure. Her school is in the Black Mountains, which we can see from our third floor kitchen. There isn’t good internet up there, so she won’t be able to teach online classes from the school building – she’ll have to teach in her physical classroom in her Black Mountain school, and then drive back home to teach her online classes from her home. This, plus having a 4 year old and a 9 year old at home, and the fact that her husband is in online school from home from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm each day, is going to be a challenge. But she’ll manage, make the best of it, and do wonderful things for her students.
  • There will be sufficient masks for everyone in France
    • Starting May 11 there will be enough masks for everyone. Some distribution of masks will start on April 30 at post offices.
  • Massive tests promised
    • The Prime Minister promised 700,000 virological tests per week.
  • *This is what puts a department in the Red category.
    • circulation of the virus remains active
    • hospital intensive care capacity remains over loaded
    • local testing and contact detection system is not sufficiently prepared.
  • Otherwise, a department is Green. Fingers crossed for Green for our department, Aude, so that we can start deconfining…
  • The map below was posted four days ago. Here’s how to read it: what you see in blue, is actually Green.  I added a red arrow to show you where our department is located – and it’s wonderful news that our department is surrounded by other Green departments. I hope this bodes well for our deconfinement.

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay busy everyone!

Easing out of Confinement mid May





1 Comment

  • Jeanne says:

    Hello! We live in Pittsburgh, also confined. I have enjoyed reading your posts, and will be following your progress! Thank you!.