The French way: lockdown not a must?

In France, the coronavirus 7-day incidence rate lies at 252.5 cases per 100,000 people. Nevertheless, politicians are currently not planning new hard lockdowns, shops remain open, and schools are mostly back to running as normal. Instead the focus is being placed on strict mask requirements, curfews and tests, until most of the population has been vaccinated. Commentators voice their approval.

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Les Echos (FR) /

Shock effect is gone

Les Echos doesn't believe a new lockdown in France would be effective:

“While restrictions generally remain the most effective measure, one can no longer rely on the proposed tightening of health regulations having any radical impact to speak of. For several reasons. Firstly, a number of restrictions (such as curfews and closed business sectors) are already in place in the country. So there can be no talk of any radical difference. What's more, few people would adhere to new requirements - which is one of the reasons why the government is hesitant. The surprise effect of the first lockdown and the fear of a virus that was unknown at the time will not be repeated. The French showed this autumn that they have learned how to handle permits to leave their homes very effectively during a curfew.”

Le Soir (BE) /

Gastronomy simply irreplaceable

Le Soir draws attention to the important function of cafés, bars and restaurants in everyday life:

“Bars, counters and terraces are a part of our lives. It's there that we meet up, chat, have fun, work, watch what's happening, listen, drink and eat. These little pubs, bistros, coffee houses, bars and cafes are essential. ... The people of Brussels love them and the role they play in city life. The best proof is that they go out of their way to support them. This morning the Brussels-based organisation Growfunding passed the 500,000 euro mark in funds raised for its Zuur campaign (meaning bitter, like the taste of closed coffee shops). ... And what do we see now? Huge crowds in the parks and squares where people gather and drink alcohol. ... Spontaneous gatherings are difficult to control, whereas on the terrace of a café (at least in principle) it's easier to control people's presence, schedules and consumption.”