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Covid-19: the government presents its bill to exit the state of health emergency



Tests, curfew: the government must adopt on Wednesday April 28 its bill to exit the state of health emergency, set for the beginning of June. However, it may retain powers until October 31 on the movement of people or the closure of stores if sanitary conditions so require.

→ READ. Covid-19: Parliament renews state of health emergency until June 1

The text must be submitted to the National Assembly “Around May 10”, according to parliamentary sources. This exceptional regime was extended in February by Parliament until 1er June.

The state of health emergency may be prolonged in certain areas

From June 2 to October 31 inclusive, that is to say for five months, the Prime Minister will have the power to take measures “By decree (…) in the interest of public health and for the sole purpose of combating the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic”, specifies the bill. He will be able to “Regulate or, in certain parts of the territory in which active circulation of the virus is observed, prohibit the movement of people and vehicles (…) subject to travel strictly essential to family, professional and health needs”, as it did during the current lockdown.

→ READ. State of emergency: MEPs authorize themselves to seize the scientific council

“To respond to localized deterioration of the health situation”, the text indicates that the state of health emergency could however be declared until October 31, “In one or more specific territorial constituencies”, for a period extended to two months, “Provided that these territorial constituencies represent less than 10% of the national population”. Of “Derogations” at the end of the curfew could for example be decided according to the evolution of the pandemic.

Regulate the opening of restaurants

The head of government may also impose “Compulsory tests for crossing borders”, even “Proof of the administration of a vaccine against Covid-19 or a document certifying (of) recovery” of the person who has been infected with the virus.

If a rebound in the epidemic justifies it again, the Prime Minister will also have the possibility of “Regulate opening to the public” places such as restaurants, shops or theaters “By guaranteeing people’s access to basic goods and services”, specifies the text. The bill grants the head of government the power to “Regulate gatherings of persons, meetings and activities on public roads and in places open to the public”.

The prescribed measures “Are strictly proportionate to the health risks incurred and appropriate to the circumstances of time and place”, underlines the document. “It is terminated without delay when they are no longer needed”, he specifies.

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