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Coronavirus restrictions: government struggles to find its voice to communicate

2020-10-05T17:33:23.193Z

More than six months after the start of the health crisis, the executive is still looking for the right way to calibrate its announcements on the health situation.



It's official.

Since Monday, Paris and its inner suburbs are officially placed on "maximum alert" for the coronavirus epidemic.

The information, which was announced late to AFP on Sunday evening before being confirmed at a press conference on Monday morning, marks a new change in the foot of the executive in its way of communicating.

● At the start of the crisis, Macron delivers three solemn addresses in one month

The beginnings are solemn.

On March 12, three days before the first round of municipal elections, Emmanuel Macron gave his first televised address devoted to Covid-19.

For 26 minutes, the Head of State details, from his office at the Élysée Palace, a series of unprecedented measures in the country, ranging from the closure of schools to “

exceptional

support”

To companies.

But the device was quickly deemed insufficient in the face of the spread of the virus, and the President of the Republic was forced to speak again four days later.

In a serious tone, he then announced the general confinement of the country, and the postponement of the second round of municipal elections.

The "war" on the virus is officially declared.

On April 13, Emmanuel Macron intervenes for the third time in a month: he plans a gradual deconfinement from May 11, and gives an appointment for a fourth - and last - speech at the beginning of the summer.

On June 22, he confirmed the holding of municipal elections six days later, the return of compulsory schooling for all students, and the reopening of cinemas and holiday centers.

It is "

the return of happy days

".

Read also: Covid-19: at the top of the state, erratic and ineffective communication

● Press conferences and very detailed speeches are on the increase at Matignon

The President sets the course, the Prime Minister applies it.

In accordance with the institutions of the Fifth Republic, Emmanuel Macron and Édouard Philippe shared the roles during the crisis.

While the head of state devotes himself to the "

world after

", the head of government manages the modalities of confinement.

He thus hosts several methodical press conferences, where he draws up the most exhaustive and educational inventory possible of the country's epidemic situation.

At the end of April, it is he who details the first phase of deconfinement in front of Parliament, before repeating the exercise a month later.

And then pass the torch to his successor, Jean Castex, at the start of the summer.

The old "Mr.

deconfinement ”, now Prime Minister, returns from the start with the serious tone of the start of the crisis.

During a first situation update, Jean Castex evokes a "

manifest deterioration

" of the indicators and authorizes the prefects to take additional measures at the local level.

On September 24, during his first big televised oral, the ex-mayor LR of Prades (Pyrénées-Orientales) points to the threat of a

general "re-

containment

" "

if we do not act

".

Read also: Jean Castex convinces the French less than Edouard Philippe, three months after his appointment

● The second wave of the new school year forces the government to rush its decisions

Very present alongside Édouard Philippe during confinement, Olivier Véran was sent to the front line to face the second wave at the start of the school year.

And he finds himself almost alone at the front.

During a press conference organized at the Ministry of Health on September 23, the elected representative of Isère announced new alert thresholds, and decreed the closure of bars and restaurants in the Aix-Marseille metropolis and in Guadeloupe.

The announcement sparked a strong wind of anger in the South-East, where elected officials regretted not having been warned or associated before this decision.

● Consultation with elected officials improves, communication becomes more sober

After a week of confusion, Olivier Véran decides on a new strategy.

The Minister of Health instructs his Director General, Professor Jérôme Salomon, to carry out regular reviews again.

He announced it on the sidelines of a press conference organized last Friday, where he insisted on the deterioration of indicators in Paris and in the inner suburbs, and threatened to tighten the screws the following week.

Without waiting for the review set for Monday, Matignon told AFP on Sunday evening that Paris and the inner suburbs are placed in the maximum alert zone, and that new restrictions are to be expected.

A surprise press release was sent at the same time by the Paris police headquarters, announcing the holding of a press conference the following day with Anne Hidalgo, the socialist mayor of the capital.

The conditions for closing certain establishments - total for bars, partial for restaurants - are confirmed there.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2020-10-05

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