Phase III of Deconfinement Here We Come!
We sit and wait for news. Every day brings new directives about the Covid-19 deconfinement. In Nice, it’s visible, but not disruptive. Every establishment has a bottle of sanitizing gel that you are asked to use before entering and many use it upon exiting as well. Some people are still wearing face masks outdoors, but indoors wearing it’s “de rigueur.” You don’t see anyone idly kissing both cheeks, but otherwise, life is pretty much normal again.
Sunday evening, in a televised address, French President Emmanuel Macron laid out Phase III of deconfinement — after five weeks of deconfinement — reviewing the primary concerns: reopening of cafés, bars, and restaurants, the economy, the reopening of schools, and on top of all that, the current racial protests, the pandemic itself, should a second wave hit us, under the current global situation.
Almost 30,000 people have died in France, and no doubt, the best way to prevent further deaths is a lockdown to keep the pandemic under control. But, as of now, the entire country is in “green zone” (except for the outlying territories of Mayotte and Guyana). That means the cafés, bars, and restaurants are now fully free to operate. In Paris, that will allow everyone to breathe again. Cinemas, concert halls and other theaters will be open, but restrictions remain on social distancing. Schools and colleges will reopen as of the 22nd of June. Nursing and retirement homes will allow visitors once again.
Macron took a firm stand on the current nationwide protests sparked by George Floyd’s death in the U.S. “We are a nation where everyone, whatever their origins and religion, must find their place,” he said, adding, “We will be intractable in the face of racism and anti-Semitism and strong new measures for equal opportunities will be taken.” He made no bones about his position on the side of law enforcement. “The police and the gendarmerie deserve the support of the public authorities and the recognition of the nation,” he stated in his address.
Once again, he thanked the medical personnel who have been on the front line of the virus battle, commending their devotion to saving lives and attributed the reopening of the country to their contribution.
The President will be back sometime in July with more news. Meanwhile, borders (land, air and sea) have reopened for travel within Europe. When we drove into Italy Sunday night, no one stopped us at the border even though officially they didn’t open until the next morning. With this and with the French staying closer to home this summer, I’m predicting that Nice will be booming once again with holiday vacationers very, very soon. This is good news for those who count on their rental property revenues.
For travelers entering from outside Europe, the borders remain closed until July 1st, with a gradual reopening on a country-by-country basis. That doesn’t apply to French citizens and primary residents. My daughter arrives on June 29th and thanks to her “Carte de Résident,” she shouldn’t have a problem entering. (Fortunately, she’s traveling on Air France which I hear has done a superb job of cleanliness and orderliness in dealing with the pandemic.
Second home owners won’t be so lucky until July. E.U. nationals and permanent residents will at least be able to travel through France to get to their homes. Other essential workers will have permission to travel as well, such as healthcare workers, commercial goods carriers (truck drivers) and flight or cargo crews. Diplomatic staff get special treatment, as well. But, France is also asking for a voluntary 14-day quarantine for arrivals from outside the E.U. and Schengen zone areas. Guess that means Erica and I will be spending some quality time at home together for a couple of weeks!
The big question is when Americans without such special status will be able to travel to France? My guess is if America doesn’t clean up its act and see drastic reductions in Covid-19 cases, there will be grave restrictions on who can enter any other country.
Let’s just hope that by the end of July, Americans will be free again to pursue their dreams to live in France! We’re getting ready for you!
A la prochaine…
Editor of Parler Nice
(dining on the Cours Saleya)
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