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Source: Republic of France in French The French Republic has published the following statement: Press conference by Mr. Jean CASTEX, Prime Minister with: – Ms. Roselyne BACHELOT, Minister of Culture, – Mr. Olivier VÉRAN, Minister of Solidarity and Health, – Mr. Cédric O, Secretary of State to the Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery and the Minister of Territorial Cohesion and Relations with Local Authorities, in charge of the Digital Transition and Electronic communications

on the application of measures to fight COVID-1920 avenue de Ségur Thursday, October 22, 2020

Only the pronouncement is authentic


Well, ladies and gentlemen, we are meeting again for a new information point on the epidemic crisis and the presentation of the new measures decided yesterday in the Defense and National Security Council under the authority of the President of the Republic. In France as everywhere in Europe, the second wave is here.

Today we are seeing a rapid and very worrying progression of the epidemic in all the countries of Europe, in Italy, in the United Kingdom, in Belgium, in Germany.

Not to mention the countries of Central Europe, Poland, the Czech Republic which are in a very difficult situation. No one is spared.

Let us say it clearly. The situation is serious. It is serious in Europe, it is serious in France. Last week, we decided to place the entire national territory in a state of health emergency and to introduce a curfew in Île-de-France and in 8 other cities. In recent days, the health situation in our country has continued to deteriorate. The circulation of the virus is now at an extremely high level.

The number of people with Covid over the last 7 days stands at 251 per 100,000 people; That is to say, an increase of 40% in one week. The virus’s reproduction rate is around 1.35, which in practice means a doubling of the number of cases in 15 days.

Two additional elements deserve to be highlighted. First, without affecting the age groups, and in particular those over 65, in whom the number of cases has tripled in 6 weeks. A spread of the virus which now concerns almost the entire national territory. This progression of the epidemic has led us to extend the curfew measures to 38 new departments and to an overseas territory, Polynesia. In all of these departments and territories, the curfew will apply from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., throughout the territory of the departments concerned and normally for a period of 6 weeks. These rules will come into effect as of midnight Friday.

They will be the same as for the metropolises, already placed in curfew since last Saturday. This means that at 9:00 p.m., everyone should be at home and that, with some exceptions, all places, businesses or services open to the public will be closed. As during the period of confinement, to leave after 9:00 p.m., you will need to bring a certificate proving that you are answerable for one of these exceptions. The certificate and all the information concerning the health situation and the measures relating to the curfew are available on the Government’s website or by calling the toll-free number 0 800 130 000. As regards the departments of which only the large towns had been placed under curfew last week, I asked the prefects to extend this curfew to the entire department. In total, as of midnight Friday, 54 departments and an overseas territory will be subject to the curfew rule, or 46 million of our fellow citizens. With these measures, we are pursuing our strategy of graduated and territorialized response. I remind you that in the other departments not subject to the curfew, general restrictive measures apply everywhere, in particular the prohibition of gatherings of more than 6 people on public roads, as well as a reinforced sanitary protocol in the restaurants. Likewise, recourse to teleworking has been strongly encouraged in companies, wherever possible. In the administrations, the instructions taken provide for at least half of the week for teleworking, but require that counter functions be maintained. The extension of the curfew measure to many other departments, including some where the virus is not yet circulating as much as in large metropolitan areas, is a preventive measure that I take. The virus is accelerating, we must anticipate even more the implementation of our measures. These measures are heavy, I realize. But I also see that they are well respected.

Since last Saturday, law enforcement has carried out 32,033 checks and issued 4,777 tickets for non-compliance with the curfew. It is too early at this stage to measure the effects of the curfew. It’s next week that we’ll see if it starts to reduce viral circulation enough. Depending on the results obtained and the evolution of the epidemic, we will reassess the system to possibly toughen it up with the absolute priority of saving lives and protecting the health of our fellow citizens, starting with the most vulnerable among them. we. For this, we must imperatively preserve our reception capacity in hospitals and in health establishments. However, the occupancy rate of our intensive care beds has exceeded the 44% mark. 4 regions are more particularly affected: Auvergne – Rhône-Alpes, Île-de-France, PACA and Hauts-de-France, where the bar of 50% of intensive care beds occupied by Covid patients has been crossed. Given the high number of new cases, this trend will continue in the coming weeks. So I tell you very clearly, the coming weeks will be hard. Our hospital services will be strained and the death toll will continue to rise. Today’s new cases are tomorrow’s hospital patients and unfortunately sometimes the day after tomorrow’s deaths. The month of November will be trying. We already know that. Every day the number of deaths increases. I give the floor to Olivier VÉRAN, Minister of Solidarity and Health, for a more detailed point on the epidemiological situation and that of our hospitals. Minister.

Mr. Olivier VÉRAN

Mr. Prime Minister, 40 million people affected by the Coronavirus in the world, more than a million dead, more than a million hundred thousand dead worldwide.

This is the toll to date of this pandemic, the toll that is growing every day. We experienced a lull in France and in Europe after the first wave, which was terrible. A summer lull. But now, we can consider that Europe is once again the continent most severely affected by this pandemic. A large majority of countries in the European Union have now largely crossed what is called “the alert threshold” and everywhere, unfortunately, hospitals are filling up again.

A number of countries that did not experience early waves, I think of the Czech Republic, for example, are recording alarming daily death tolls.

The circulation of the virus, you know, I have said it before, we have said it before, it is slower than last spring. Why is it slower? Because we apply barrier gestures, social distancing, because we are equipped with masks and because the Government has put in place measures aimed precisely at curbing the circulation of the virus throughout the national territory and in a proportionate manner and differentiated in the territories in which it circulates the most.

So the virus is circulating less quickly than last spring, but its spread is still increasing and in alarming proportions. Some figures to show it. In August, there were 10 patients identified, diagnosed per 100,000 French. Currently, there are on average 250 patients per 100,000 French people and in some metropolises, I am thinking in particular of Saint-Etienne, more than 800 patients per 100,000 French people, that is to say 80 times more people diagnosed than during of August. In August, there were about 1,500 infections per day. We have exceeded 25,000 patients per day on average, that is to say more than 1,000 patients diagnosed in our country every hour of the day and night. These figures, they double, you said, Mr. Prime Minister, every two weeks, despite all the efforts and so without new measures where it is necessary to slow down the epidemic, there would be in 15 days more of 50,000 patients diagnosed every day. Worse still, it is in particular among people aged over 65 that the epidemic dynamic now seems to be the strongest for a few days, even those people over 65 who even if they may be very good health, on the other hand, present the greatest risk of developing severe forms. The health impact, that is to say these serious forms, those which require recourse to the hospital or even in the most serious cases to intensive care, this health impact, it is real, it is palpable and beyond figures that can be repeated on a daily basis, it is the calls of doctors and caregivers who resume, what we experienced last spring. The calls of these doctors who on a daily basis fight to save lives in the hospital and who tell us to face a wave of serious patients who arrive by the emergency services, by the Samu and who fill the hospitals and the services of intensive care. There were nearly 2,000 hospital patients yesterday and more than 250 patients admitted to intensive care. In the Auvergne – Rhône-Alpes region, on September 15, there were 88 patients in intensive care. As of October 2, there were 149 in intensive care. Yesterday, there were 360 ​​patients in intensive care.

When I say that without new measures, the situation would worsen in the same way, that is to say that the measures which have been taken such as the limitation of large gatherings, the closing of bars, the limitation of gatherings including in the private sphere with a maximum of 6 people, or even the curfew wherever it has been put in place, does this mean that these measures would be ineffective? The answer is no and you said so, Prime Minister. It is too early to be able to draw any conclusions and lessons from the impact of these measures in curbing the epidemic. As a reminder, when generalized containment was put in place in our country, the curves began to flex from 15 to 18 days. This is the time that is required to truly measure the impact of the actions we take.

And indeed, early next week, we are hoping for the first signs, a quiver of incidence nationwide. On the curve that appears, you can ask yourself the question: why did this curve, which was increasing, start to bend before taking off again very strongly? This is a phenomenon that we have seen in France but also in neighboring countries. I am thinking of Belgium, Great Britain, Spain, but now also Germany and Italy. Researchers are looking into the question. Maybe it’s related to the cold snap that hit Europe, the big chill that happened around that time, which made the incidence start again. In any case, what we can also remember from this curve is that, at one point, the management measures, the measures to slow the spread of the virus had started to bear fruit. This is exactly what we expect from the measures that have been put in place in a proportionate way on the national territory for the coming days and weeks. And you said it, it’s not prediction.

It is unfortunately obvious, a certainty, the number of serious forms, the number of hospitalizations, the number of intensive care admissions and the number of deaths will inevitably increase in the coming weeks because it is only the reflection of the patients who are currently diagnosed. A patient who becomes infected will develop symptoms 4 to 5 days later, when he develops symptoms in general; and severe forms appear between 8 and 10, or even 15 days after contamination. So when you have an incidence like the one we have in France or in Europe in so-called fragile people, vulnerable because of their age, we unfortunately know that a certain number of them will necessarily go to the hospital. and in intensive care.

This is why our caregivers and doctors are on constant alert, in town and in hospital. They are on constant alert to make room for the hospital first. Even beyond resuscitation, there is a need for hospital beds and measures are being put in place. I will tell you about one that is being implemented in the Ile-de-France region. The director general of the Regional Health Agency, for example, asks private establishments which have rehabilitation services which are not necessarily occupied to be able to transfer patients who go to the hospital to medical services, which are not with Covid, so as to free up space in medical services in hospitals and clinics to be able to admit patients with Covid. Making room also means preparing for resuscitations.

You know, we have said it over and over again, we have the necessary protective equipment, we have resuscitation drugs with a national stock to treat even more patients if necessary than during the first wave. I have never hidden that the major stake was that of human resources: to identify caregivers, doctors, nurses, nursing assistants able again, as they did with their extraordinary courage, to come and help, support and strengthen teams when necessary. Mr. Prime Minister, last week you announced measures to increase overtime for nursing assistants, nurses, compensation in the event that leave could not be taken. We have also, within the framework of the Social Security budget, financed everything relating to accommodation, food, transport, like what we did during the first wave.

Our caregivers are heroes who take care of us, but it is also up to us to take care of them. This is also the preparation for resuscitation, which is called deprogramming. When we want to increase the sheave beds, we have to close other beds to turn them into intensive care beds. As you know, we did not wish to deprogram all of the care throughout the country, unlike what was done last spring, in particular due to the fact that the progression is less exponential. The virus is circulating a little slower and therefore it allows us to have a little more time to be able to function in a practical way. Each hospital, each region, each department has a health protocol allowing it to know what to do when health pressure increases. An example in the Auvergne – Rhône-Alpes region, all the care of scheduled surgeons outside the so-called outpatient surgery or cancer surgery, all of the planned surgery in the public sector and in the sector private were delayed, suspended for a period of at least two weeks to make room.

Already, in this Auvergne – Rhône-Alpes region, transfers of serious patients take place within the region between two hospitals when a hospital no longer has enough space. And then the dynamic of creation begins, of increasing the number of intensive care beds to be able to welcome new patients. A few figures: in our country, historically, we had 5,100 resuscitation places with ventilators and a personal team. We have increased to 5,800 beds over time thanks to the summer, with significant efforts made by all hospitals – + 15% in intensive care places. We are able to increase to 7,700 beds within a period of less than two weeks, without necessarily deprogramming a lot of care and without necessarily recalling a lot of staff, but at the cost of a major organizational effort.

And if it becomes necessary to further increase our reception capacity in intensive care, be aware that as of April 15, there had been 10,700 intensive care beds mobilized to receive patients. This does not mean 10,700 Covid patients since whatever we do, we will need resuscitation beds for patients who come for other reasons. On average, at least 3,000 beds are occupied every day by people who are on duty for other reasons. When we talk about the preparation of the health system, we are talking about the health system as a whole and it is a system that has been able to adapt and that still knows how to adapt even under strong epidemic pressure.

For example, in two weeks we went from 1.1 million tests performed per week to 1.6 million tests performed in the last 7 days. And all without increasing the deadlines since 90% of the results of the tests carried out are now given within 48 hours. Another example of the mobilization, each day, the regional health agencies, the staff and the teams working within the agencies, but also within the health insurance and the doctors in town, are able to call 90,000 French, that is to say, the number of people who are infected, diagnosed for the coronavirus as well as the contact cases.

It is an effort without precedent in the health history of our country. Finally, and you have already heard me say it more than once, but I repeat, when we talk about the health system, we are talking about the women and men who are mobilized on a daily basis, nurses, caregivers, laboratory assistants, biologists, doctors, stretcher bearers, ambulance attendants, they are the ones who take care of us. And when I say that we must take care of them, I said that the Government was doing its part, but it is also up to each of us, as citizens, to show solidarity, to pay attention. in our daily lives, not to take risks, not to expose people around us to the risk of contamination. This is how each and every one of us, French citizens, citizens, can also support our caregivers in the fight that has begun and which will be long against this epidemic.


Thank you very much, Minister. In my turn, I would like to thank once again all the caregivers, the technical teams and the laboratory assistants, the administrative staff and finally the whole of this chain of health and town medicine to the care establishments which have been on the front line since last March and which are again put to the test. I also express my gratitude to the local authorities involved in the implementation of restrictive measures, but also in the essential communication and prevention actions, in particular vis-à-vis vulnerable or fragile populations.

But beyond our capacity to prevent, to detect, to treat, beyond the administrative measures that we deploy, I want to solemnly insist on the fact that we need the involvement of all. We keep saying it and repeating it, but I do it again, because it is a deep conviction: the key to this fight against the epidemic is more than ever in the hands of each and every one of us. We all have part of the solution at our level. She is known to wear the mask, wash your hands very regularly or use gel, cough or sneeze into your elbow or into a handkerchief, use disposable tissues and throw them away, greet without shaking hands and avoid hugs , keep a distance of one meter, ventilate the places where you live and work, and finally, more than ever, reduce your social interactions. It is a matter of collective responsibility and solidarity. It is also an issue of protection for all. As long as you are not touched, you think you are untouchable. Yet this virus strikes everyone. It concerns everyone, young and old, in town as well as in the countryside, with, of course, more or less serious forms but without anyone being able to consider themselves safe, including young people. I therefore call again and again for national solidarity and unfailing mobilization.

Because if we do not collectively succeed in curbing the epidemic, we will face a dramatic situation and we will have to consider much tougher measures. There is still time to avoid it, but we are running out of time. I would like to give the floor to Professor Étienne GAYAT, crisis medical director at Lariboisière hospital, who will remind us that all types of profiles can develop forms, including serious ones, of the disease. Mr. professor.

Mr. Étienne GAYAT

Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister, and thank you for giving me the opportunity, indeed, to present to you some elements of the reality of what we experience in hospitals and in particular in hospitals in Île-de-France where I work. What has been observed in recent weeks is indeed a continuous increase in the incidence rate of the virus in all age groups. And what we have seen is an increase, which started in the youngest age groups, patients under 30, and then, a little later, patients under 40. . And we are now seeing an increase which is still declining sharply in patients, this time more fragile because they are older. So, that does remind us that one of the effective ways and which we hope, especially the curfew will bear fruit, is to limit dissemination and circulation. And today, there is only one cure, and that is to limit our interactions to avoid transmitting the virus. We observe, among the patients who have to be taken care of on a daily basis, forms of contamination within the family unit, within couples. We had to take care of, especially in the first wave, and we hope not to have it today, couples, including couples in intensive care with COVID-19. So that is a reality.

The second reality is that we heard that the virus, in its present form, was less severe and possibly less virulent. And what we observe is not quite that, unfortunately. We observe two facts. It is that the patients who are admitted to our intensive care units, when we look roughly at the distribution of age and compare it since this summer in relation to the first epidemic peak, well this distribution of the age, it is in fact strictly similar, again, among the most severe patients, namely that 50% of patients admitted to intensive care are under 60 years of age. And when we are still interested in younger patients, we actually have between 15 and 20% of patients under the age of 40 in intensive care. Very, very factually, there are, in the hospital in which I work, which is the Lariboisière hospital, on the 32 intensive care beds that are open, 15 patients with COVID-19, 3 of them have less 40 years old and have had serious forms. What we observed during the first weeks of summer were patients who had notably less need for mechanical ventilation; which was obviously a very positive signal.

Unfortunately, for a few weeks now, we have seen an increase in these very heavy resuscitation needs, which suggests that the virulence of the virus is the same and that it affects all segments of the population. An important message that I would like to convey on behalf of the healthcare community and particularly that of intensive care, is to try to contradict the idea that the solution to this epidemic rise and this second wave would be to ” increase resuscitation beds, which would imply that coming to intensive care is not much.

When we come to intensive care, unfortunately what we observe is 15-20% of patients who will not come out because they will die there and that among those who will come out of intensive care, there are still patients who continue. to die in the following year and many of them, and we see it with COVID-19 as we see with other resuscitation pathologies, come out with serious after-effects from which they will take time to recover . So, really, the message is not to increase the number of intensive care beds, it is to do everything to avoid admission to intensive care and therefore avoid the circulation of viruses and contamination.

One of the ways, again, is indeed distancing. We have said it a lot, we have observed it to be effective and then, all that is the tracing of patients, that is to say being able to identify patients who are contacts of a positive case in order to ” prevent themselves from infecting other patients. It is also a reality that we share. There are patients who have no symptoms and yet are contagious and these are probably the ones who need to be identified as early as possible to avoid further spread. I thank you sir.


Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Professor. Faced with the acceleration of the epidemic which has just been recalled, we must mobilize all the tools. New technologies are one of those useful tools for tracing chains of contamination, especially when virus circulation is high and we are there. The Government is today launching the new “All Anti-Covid” application. It’s available for download today and I invite you all to download it, just like I did. I give the floor to Cédric O, the Secretary of State in charge of the file, to present the new features of the application to you.

Mr. Cédric O

Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister. The measures that have been announced today are difficult and Olivier VÉRAN, the Minister of Health, has said, they could be even more so in the future. But this is not inevitable. We are not condemned to a stop-and-go policy of which we know how painful it is for our fellow citizens and how devastating for our economy. For this, and the Prime Minister has reminded him, we need to be, each of us, actors in the fight against the virus. It is of course the wearing of the mask. These are of course the reflexes of physical distancing. This is of course the reduction of our social interactions, but it is also the use of all the tools that can help us control a virus that will last while continuing to live, and especially digital tools.

These digital tools should enable everyone to be an actor in the 3 pillars of the strategy put in place to sustainably reduce the circulation of the virus and to participate in our resilience and our collective resistance: testing, alerting and protecting. What we want to do with these digital tools is to make each French person a real player in the entire chain of combating the virus. It is first to test, and I want to recall here the existence and usefulness of the site, I repeat:, which makes it easy for everyone to find a laboratory near their home and to be informed of waiting times.

Do not give up getting tested because you think you don’t know where to go or that it is taking too long. This tool, developed with the teams from the Ministry of Health, will make your life easier if you have to get tested and, above all, allows you, by reporting your information on waiting times, to share valuable information for everyone. It is also a warning, and the Prime Minister has just said it, to save time on the virus. Today we launched the “All Anti-Covid” app, an update to the “Stop Covid” app. We have to be extremely clear about the “Stop Covid” application. Yes, the app has not been downloaded enough to be a really useful tool in the fight against the coronavirus. And if it’s time to take responsibility, we take it all, me first. But this insufficient adoption is also, unfortunately, collectively, a missed opportunity. No one is happy to have to close restaurants, bars, concert halls and cinema halls.

No one takes pleasure in having to limit their social interactions, but to prevent this and to prevent it in the future, we need “All Anti-Covid”. The Scientific Council in its opinion delivered today has been extremely clear on this point. The massive diffusion of applications of the same type abroad, in the United Kingdom, in Germany, in Canada, confirms what epidemiological studies of researchers and caregivers have always said and asked: if we are enough to download and activate this application, this tool can be extremely useful in the fight against the epidemic. Enough of this means that there must be several million of us doing it. The British and the Germans are between 15 and 20 million to have done it, there is no reason that it is not the same in France.

Perhaps a reminder of what All Anti-Covid is. It is quite simply an additional barrier gesture in order to fight against the epidemic and its spread. All Anti-Covid works in a simple way: if you have crossed paths with an infected person in a bar, in a restaurant, in a cinema, in a place open to the public and you both had the application, then you can be notified as soon as the person in question receives the result of their test. This will allow you, first of all, to be warned and to isolate yourself, which will prevent you from infecting new people, especially if you are asymptomatic.

All Anti-Covid saves us time; to use the message received in the application to gain access to the priority queue for testing contact cases such as all persons identified as contact cases by Health Insurance. All Anti-Covid is a simple gesture that we often do: download a mobile app, activate it and keep it open. But like a vaccine and I have said it, this gesture is only useful if very many of us are doing it. This is why I want to speak directly to all French people: we need you, we need everyone, we need everyone.

All guarantees have been taken. The CNIL, the National Commission for Informatics and Liberties, has thoroughly audited and validated the application. Its source code is open and public and allows anyone to verify what I just said. All Anti-Covid is not a tool for the Government. It is a collective tool very widely supported by the medical community which must allow us to keep the living spaces open, which must allow you to live as normally as possible while protecting you.

This app is yours. Download it and activate it as soon as you go to a place open to the public. Since Stop Covid, the application has evolved. She will continue to do so. Of course, it retains its contact history function with the same guarantees for privacy. But with Olivier VÉRAN, we have made it evolve to make it a real individual tool for information and the fight against the epidemic. This is why it includes, in the version posted online today, daily information such as the number of people tested positive each day, the incidence rate, the famous R, or the rate of occupancy of resuscitation beds by Covid patients.

These elements, initially given on a national basis, will be adapted to each person’s city in the days to come. The application also presents its adoption figures: number of registrations, number of cases declared in the application and number of cases notified, in a logic of transparency and mobilization. Several times a week, it will also disseminate information and current events on knowledge and the fight against the virus. Finally, it includes a link to the screening card which lists, I would remind you, all the laboratories where to be tested. This new application, we embody it with a new name, Tous Anti-Covid, and a new logo that you discovered behind me. These first functionalities will be enriched every two weeks with new functionalities. Among these, I am thinking in particular of the integration of the discharge certificate or an alternative to reminder notebooks in restaurants.

All this because the epidemic is bound to last. In this regard, I want to emphasize this notion of time. We do not wait with this reboot of Grand Soir de Tous Anti-Covid.

Over time, we need several million French people to download the application. This is why we once again want to make Tous Anti-Covid a digital Swiss army knife to make everyday life easier with the epidemic. Finally, protect, the French are mobilized in the fight against the epidemic. They want to adopt the right actions to protect themselves and others, but they often need personalized advice.

Digital technology is a tremendous lever for doing so in a context, as we know, where information abounds and is constantly evolving. It is in this spirit and with the entire medical community that was developed, I repeat my advice This site allows you to obtain personalized advice by filling in a few questions. And if you are affected by the virus, it allows you to track your symptoms over time and make the right decisions. Together, these three tools form a whole to make digital technology the tool of everyone in the fight against the virus. Thank you.


Thank you very much Mr. Secretary of State for this important information. Ladies and gentlemen, the introduction of the curfew and its extension to new territories has and will have serious economic consequences for many professional sectors. To respond to this, the support measures announced last week will be extended to all the departments switching to the curfew regime: strengthening the solidarity fund, exemptions from social contributions, the extension of guaranteed loans as well as partial activity devices. We continue to work in conjunction with the federations and representatives of the various sectors concerned to continue to improve our systems.

Take better account of the rents paid by these companies or further encourage mediation between tenant and lessor. Make progress on the issue of paid holidays and propose a new insurance plan for companies in the event of health disasters. To all these economic sectors particularly impacted by the restrictive measures that we are required to take: hotels, bars, restaurants, events, sport, culture and more. To all of them, I want to say that the Government understands their dismay and sometimes their feeling of injustice when they ask only to work and to live from their work.

These measures are in no way sanctions against them. They are preventive measures intended to limit the spread of the virus. And besides, all other countries are taking comparable measures. This is the reason why national solidarity must, as we have been doing since the beginning of this crisis, be deployed in their direction.

In the name of what would we not compensate sectors that for just reasons of general health interest we prevent from living normally? This comes at a cost, of course, but to drop them would have a moral, human, but also financial cost, much heavier still. With regard to the culture sector in particular, we received this morning, together with the Minister of Culture, representatives of cinema and performing arts. They told us about their great difficulty in maintaining their activity due to the curfew.

We worked together on specific support mechanisms to ensure that cinemas do not close everywhere in France, that theaters can remain open as much as possible to preserve access to culture, which is essential during this period of crisis. As we do everything to maintain access to education for our children. The Minister will present to you the measures that the Government has decided to undertake in favor of the cultural sector. So here is Madame Roselyne BACHELOT.

Mrs Roselyne BACHELOT

Yes, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health, Professor GAYAT reminded us, the health situation is serious and the curfew measure announced by the President of the Republic must help us collectively face this second wave, to stop the spread of the virus and to better protect each and every one of us.

You said, Mr. Prime Minister, this measure of public health and protection has a very strong impact on the world of culture, which is once again particularly affected. In fact, most of the live performance and cinema take place in the evening, starting on Wednesday evening. I spoke with professionals in the performing arts and cinema, as I have done with the entire cultural sector since taking office. Individually and collectively, I was also keen to discuss the situation with several local elected officials concerned and I wanted to bring together the associations of elected officials next Tuesday within the framework of the National Council of Territories for Culture.

Really, I want to salute the efforts that have been made by cultural professionals who are extremely committed to maintaining the link with the public and who are in the process of adapting, of finding solutions in this new context. The state will be at their side to overcome this crisis, and support them in their adaptation and innovation efforts. This support is extremely important, and its need is shared by all French people. Everyone needs, we need culture and maybe even more during this crisis which has affected our ability to come together. And the measures I am going to talk about are essential, they will help to preserve access for all to our culture.

Of course, I would first like to confirm that the strengthening of the cross-cutting measures, which you have described, Mr. Prime Minister, and which were announced by Bruno LE MAIRE last Thursday, all these measures will apply to the entire cultural sector and in particular to performing arts and cinema. Concretely, this means that culture is eligible for solidarity funds, social security exemptions, partial activity when necessary, loans guaranteed by the State as well as all accompanying measures. To prevent the cultural sector from collapsing, the Government has also decided to take specific additional measures.

With regard to live entertainment, 85 million euros in aid will be released. Indeed, in the territories concerned, the curfew has serious consequences on the maintenance of activity. The structures adapt the schedules, but obviously, they do not necessarily meet their audience. Attendance and therefore their resources will decrease. Our goal is to both save the schedules and the rooms, allowing you to play even at extremely low levels.

For live musical performances, the safeguard fund and the compensation fund will be provided with an additional 55 million euros, of which 3 million will be intended particularly for authors. The arrangements put in place will be entrusted to the National Music Center and will benefit all actors in the private or subsidized sector. We will also propose to Parliament to extend the exemption from the tax on shows in the first half of 2021 to reduce the costs of companies in the sector.

For other fields of performing arts, notably theater, including authors, an additional envelope of 20 million euros will be implemented to support the private sector as well as the subsidized sector, including authors.

Finally, to leave no one behind, at the beginning of September, the Ministry of Culture set up a specific and temporary emergency fund of solidarity with performing artists and technicians, which was not covered by any other mechanism. We are going to top it up, to double it to reach 10 million euros. The second sector of culture particularly affected, the cinema. With the curfew, the two evening sessions at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. can no longer be held. However, these two screenings represent half of the sales of theaters. Our goal is to ensure that cinemas do not close, that the public can continue to see films. For this to happen, film releases must be maintained throughout the country, despite the significant economic risks taken by distributors.

In total, the measures that will support the activity of the film sector represent 30 million euros. For this, we put in place 4 measures. The creation of a price supplement on each ticket in a curfew zone paid for by the State and paid to distributors to reduce the risks they will take. An enhanced bonus from the automatic support generated by distributors during the 6-week curfew. We will also double the normal scale of automatic support for producers over the same period, up to 1.5 million entries. And finally, the exhibitor’s loss compensation fund will be replenished at the same time to take into account the additional loss of turnover that the curfew represents for cinemas.

A total of 115 million euros will therefore be injected to support performing arts and culture. This is an exceptional new effort that comes on top of all the measures we have taken since the start of the pandemic. I really want to thank the professionals from the bottom of my heart for their commitment to do everything possible to continue to open in the safest sanitary conditions and I obviously thank our fellow citizens who, as we have seen since the start of the week, want to continue to go and see artists on stage and going to see films and I want to tell them that the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the Government are at their side so that our culture does not stop.


Thank you very much, Madam Minister. My dear fellow citizens, the situation is difficult but the State is ready and the whole Government is mobilized and with the State, all public communities and public services. The constraints that we must collectively impose on ourselves are important and I am fully aware of them. This health crisis is likely to last for several more months, but if we make the necessary efforts together, respecting common or individual rules to reduce the circulation of the virus, we will then be able to alleviate the constraints that weigh on our daily lives. Thank you and I remain at your disposal and the ministers present to answer your questions.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI