The two overseas territories are preparing to reconfine in the face of the increase in Covid-19 contaminations. In metropolitan France, this option is not being considered at this stage by the executive.
Reunion and Martinique are preparing to reconfine in the face of the deterioration of the health situation and the strong outbreak of the virus. In metropolitan France, epidemic indicators have not improved for several days, and the bar of 1,000 patients hospitalized in intensive care was again crossed on Thursday. However, could there be a new confinement of France?
Here and there, new restrictive measures are taken, such as the return of the mask outdoors in many departments. But at this stage, the government is not planning to reconfigure the metropolis, according to sources within the executive at BFMTV, while a large part of the population is on vacation and members of the government are preparing to follow suit for the summer break.
Lower incidence in metropolitan France
At present, the provisions do not allow confining more than 10% of the population, which corresponds approximately to the population of the West Indies. Thus, the rest of the French departments should not be affected by such a braking measure for the time being.
Several indicators point in this direction, like the incidence rates which are not the same in metropolitan France and overseas. In Martinique, it is more than 900 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last 7 days, and 995 on Wednesday. This Thursday, it was 207 in metropolitan France.
Regarding hospital tension, the executive argues that patient transfers are easier in metropolitan France than they are in the West Indies, if the situation were to become tense in hospitals in Martinique for example.
Another indicator, vaccination coverage is much lower in the West Indies than in mainland France: if globally one in two French people is now fully vaccinated, barely 15% of Martinicans are fully vaccinated.
If the metropolis should not be reconfined soon, restrictive measures such as curfews could however be taken territorially by the prefects if the situation worsened locally. A last resort, in a summer period where trips are numerous and the restrictions more complicated to implement.
Anne Saurat-Dubois with Clarisse Martin