The authorities in France fear that the New Year holidays may provoke a third wave of coronavirus in the country and they’re ready to introduce new restrictions to curb it, the country’s health minister Olivier Veran has said.
“The best way to celebrate New Year is not celebrate it at all,” was Veran’s advice to the population several days before the arrival of 2021.
“We can’t risk putting the country under weeks of restrictions because of just one night,” he explained, in an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche.
It’ll be clear very soon if the family gatherings and other festive activities during the holidays have worsened the situation with the coronavirus, the minister added.
Despite a strict lockdown in November and for most of December, the circulation of Covid-19 in the country remains high. The goal to reduce the infection rate to 5,000 new cases per day is “moving away,” Veran pointed out. Currently it stands at 15,000 in France.
The third lockdown is a real possibility if the epidemic situation keeps deteriorating, he warned. “We can’t exclude [the reintroduction] of measures to protect the population. It doesn’t mean that we have already decided on it, but we’re monitoring the situation hour by hour.”
With the vaccination program kicking off in France on Sunday, the minister expressed the hope that people will be able to stage “a big party” sometime next year to celebrate the victory against the coronavirus.