“Pragmatic, proportionate and regional” is the new formula with which France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex is trying to make the third part lockdown palatable to part of the population. From Friday evening, new rules will apply to 16 French departments, especially in the northeast of the country, which are intended to curb the spread of the pandemic. Because of incidence values of almost 400 or more, Paris and the surrounding area are also affected and the Alpes-Maritime, the region that borders Italy, is the only department in the south of the country.
President Emmanuel Macron had already announced in advance that he wanted to “reinvent” the lockdown. People around the president said that under no circumstances did he want to allow a “dictatorship of scientists and medical professionals”. “Acceptability” has become his most important criterion, an ugly word, but one that can be used to describe a mixture of acceptability, approval and appropriateness.