‘Warning signs’ of virus resurgence in south west France, says government

'Warning signs' of virus resurgence in south west France, says government
French government spokesman Gabriel Attal. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP
Half the adult population in France will have had at least one dose of vaccine against Covid-19 by the end of Wednesday, but 'warning signs' in the south west of France mean it would be unwise to speed up the process of reopening, the government says.

“If the overall level of virus circulation is comparable to that of early last autumn, warning signs are emerging in some areas,” said government spokesman Gabriel Attal after the regular meeting of the Ministers’ Council on Wednesday morning.

ALSO READ: IN NUMBERS: Is the Covid situation in France really ‘under control’?

A week before the next phase of reopening is due, Attal said that it would not be sensible to increase the pace at which France eases its restrictions – noting an increase in cases in the south west regions of Nouvelle Aquitaine and Occitanie.

 “In Nouvelle Aquitaine, we are seeing sometimes significant increases in the circulation of the virus, with a reproduction rate that has risen above 1, which means that the epidemic is gaining ground again,” he said.

The incidence rate in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department has risen more than 80 percent in a week, according to Attal, while cases were up “to a lesser extent in Charente-Maritime, Lot-et-Garonne, Charente, Landes and Gironde”. 

He said that although the national circulation of the virus remained moderate, the figures in those two regions should not go unheeded, and called on the French people not to lower their guard. 

But, he said: “The indicators are green at the national level. This is good news which shows that the first step in lifting the restriction measures has been successful.”

Meanwhile in the département of Bouches-du-Rhône, which contains Marseille, wearing a mask on beaches, in parks gardens and natural spaces is no longer obligatory from June 2nd.

“Respect for social distancing”  remains necessary, added the préfecture in a statement.

Member comments

  1. Well they better get on with vaccinations than, France is slower than most eu countries. Are they busy testing instead of vaccinating?

    1. You see that’s the problem. It’s people like you that think the vaccination stops you getting it. It does not, you can still catch it but it is not as severe and still pass it on. It’s about time the Government changed tack and revealed all the facts instead of running the vaccination program as some sort of contest.

      1. You’re both right. The CDC has mentioned that the vaccine does seem to limit the rate of transmission, studied in mRNA doses (Pfizer and Moderna, which is roughly 90% of doses given). HOWEVER, they cannot conclude it eliminates the risk.

        “A growing body of evidence indicates that people fully vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) are less likely to have asymptomatic infection or to transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others. Studies are underway to learn more about the benefits of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine. However, the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection in fully vaccinated people cannot be completely eliminated as long as there is continued community transmission of the virus.”


        Get vaccinated ASAP and still follow the guidelines for distancing and masks. Best strategy.

        1. The problem is that people have become to believe that having the vaccination is the end of it. They have come to think that they are immune from it because of the way the media have been pitching being vaccinated.

  2. Regarding the article about the fading French culture of women going topless on the beach…
    Isn’t the reason most women don’t do it anymore because they’ve realised that rather than making a statement of sexual freedom, they were just playing straight into the hands of men (‘scuse the pun) by showing them their boobs!

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