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Confinement extension: What we can and can't do

CÔTE D'AZUR & PROVENCE

Black and White Building. Photo by Piotr Zemlak on ScopioAfter 32 days of confinement, there have been a series of adjustments to what is and what is not allowed. The government is constantly running to catch-up with the needs of workers, families and overall health safety. Here we look at the latest changes. 

The daily count of new cases is now carried out by the French National Public Health Agency. Since Friday 28 February 2020 until 16 April, 12,023 people have tested positive for the Covid-19 in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. 1,900 Covid-19 positive people have been hospitalized: 393 people are in intensive care and 421 people who tested positive have died. The virus is actively circulating in our region: it is therefore no longer possible to systematically search for contacts of Covid-19 positive persons.

Last Monday evening (13 April), President Macron addressed the nation, announcing the prolongment of the confinement period to 11 May. He assured that we will begin to return to work and children to school on that date, however, he insisted that restaurants, bars and hotels will not be opening that soon. All festivals, concerts and public gatherings will not be allowed before mid-July. To see his speech with English translation, click here. https://www.france24.com/en/20200413-live-france-s-macron-makes-third-primetime-tv-address-on-covid-19-crisis

Strict restriction in the Côte d’Azur
In addition to the strict national exit restrictions, the Alpes-Maritimes department has additional restrictions, including: a complete curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in all coastal towns and communities with more than 10,000 inhabitants; the prohibition of renting any rooms or apartments for tourist purposes; a ban on visiting any coastline beaches, forests or river banks. Nice is also still explicitly banned from walking or cycling on the promenade that borders the beach and the Port as well. Sport in public spaces is only allowed between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. and between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. 

Online attestation

The attestation de déplacement dérogatoire, which must be filled in as soon as you leave your home, is more easily available in digital form on your smartphone. The automatically generated PDF can be downloaded with a QR code for the police to scan from a safe distance. Link here: https://media.interieur.gouv.fr/deplacement-covid-19/ 

Don’t even think about a holiday

Strict controls on travel and holiday rentals in Occitania and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur regions. In fact, travel is prohibited or very limited within a strict framework. It will in no way be possible to take a plane, a train, a boat or a car to get to a holiday destination, or even to one's second home.

1,800 gendarmes and 275 military personnel have been mobilised to carry out controls in a coordinated manner throughout the country. Offenders will be subject to heavy penalties, risking multiple checks on their route (135 euros at the first check, 200 euros at the second and up to 3,650 euros and six months in prison for more than three repeat offences).

Particular vigilance in the case of seasonal rentals, gîtes, campsites and guest rooms must remain closed and all types of rental companies will be scrutinised to ensure that they do not accept reservations.

Pet adoption allowed

On 16 April, it became possible to adopt a pet. The Société Protectrice des Animaux (SPA) alerted the Government to the risks linked to the saturation of its shelters. Faced with the impossibility for adoptive parents to come and pick up their animals during the confinement period, the SPA's shelters could be overwhelmed and have to refuse the animals collected by the pounds, with the consequence of risking their euthanasia.

Christophe Castaner, Minister of the Interior, decided that tolerance will be granted for the movement of animals for adoption in shelters. In order to limit the risks, strict rules will have to be observed:

- the animal must be chosen beforehand on the SPA's website
- a precise appointment will be fixed and the SPA shelter concerned will issue a certificate with the schedule of the appointment
- on the way to the appointment, the adoption candidate will have to travel alone and be equipped with the SPA certificate, and the attestation marked for exceptional travel for "compelling family reasons".

Assistance for low-income families

In order to support the most precarious families and individuals, the payment of exceptional aid to the most vulnerable households was announced by the President. Households receiving the Active Solidarity Income (RSA) or the Specific Solidarity Allowance (ASS) will receive €150, plus an additional €100 per dependent child. In addition, all families in receipt of personalised housing assistance (APL) who do not receive the RSA or ASS will receive €100 per dependent child.

This aid will be in addition to the social aid paid monthly throughout the year, and will be paid automatically to those entitled to it. 4.1 million households, including nearly 5 million children, will benefit from this exceptional solidarity aid paid in a single instalment on 15 May 2020, automatically by the family allowance funds (CAF), the agricultural social mutual insurance funds (MSA) and Pôle Emploi. This solidarity scheme, which is absolutely necessary to support low-income households that are suffering more severely from the consequences of the epidemic crisis, represents a budget of €900 million.

Note: there are many new assistance programs for small businesses, auto-entrepreneurs and seasonal workers. A detailed article on that is in the works - stay tuned!

Monaco
In Monaco, there have been no confirmed new infections for the past five days (since 12 April). This leaves a total number of 93 people in the Principality who have been diagnosed with Covid-19 (15 of them have since recovered). Eight are still in hospital in the CHPG, two of them in the intensive care unit. Three people have died of the coronavirus in Monaco since the crisis began, including the first Monegasque infected, a 72-year-old patient. 

In accordance with the guidelines adopted by the Principality health authorities, only patients who are highly symptomatic are hospitalised. People with few symptoms are invited to confine themselves to their homes while being medically monitored. This is to conserve resources in the hospital. To date, 101 patients are being treated by the Home Monitoring Centre.