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Any COVID-19 issues in Paris?

I will be spending a day in Paris next week and am wondering what to expect with the current spread across parts of Europe of the COVID-19 ("Coronavirus")? I'm sure it is on everyone's mind, as it is elsewhere.

Do travelers notice that crowds at popular places around Paris are down a bit? I assume rush-hour metro trains are still very crowded as usual? Does one see any/many people wearing surgical masks out and about?

Any special procedures one will notice upon arrival at the airport (assuming your flight is not coming from an area where outbreaks are high)? Of course, I expect travelers to be asked if they have recently been to China or other higher-risk places...and am wondering to what extent that might be slowing down passport control...

Posted by
5302 posts

I am sitting on the Line 1 metro writing this response and don’t see anyone wearing a mask (neither around me on the train nor in the stations as we stop).

There was another death yesterday, the first French person to die after contracting the virus — but authorities say that he actually died of a massive pulmonary embolism. A couple more cases were diagnosed yesterday as well.

For the moment here in Paris there is not too much noticeable. Obviously southern France nearer to the Italian border is probably a different matter.

Posted by
5695 posts

The man who died yesterday had no foreign travel or obvious connections to people with Chinese travel; this suggests that the virus is now circulating in France. It probably is in the US as well since there is no real testing of anyone with respiratory illness . We won't know for sure until people start dying since mild cases are indistinguishable from other more minor illnesses.

Posted by
866 posts

I will be in Paris on Monday afternoon for the week. I will be taking precautions but not otherwise curtailing my activities. I have facemasks, but probably won't wear them unless the threat level is higher. I have antibacterial hand cleaner and we are carrying Clorox disinfectant wipes to swab down airplane tables, armrests, and other places where germy hands get put.

If I feel sick, I know where to go to be tested/treated. Precautions are good; fear isn't.

I recall from my college chemistry classes that alcohol is a disinfectant. I am pretty certain that my vacation will include alcohol administered in (reasonably) liberal quantities, just to keep the bugs at bay.

Posted by
5017 posts

I recall from my college chemistry classes that alcohol is a disinfectant. I am pretty certain that my vacation will include alcohol administered in (reasonably) liberal quantities, just to keep the bugs at bay.

Now there's a prescription I'll happily follow.

à ta santé!!! indeed!

Posted by
281 posts

Gosh. The Local managed to makea sensational story out of nothing at all... who would have believed it.

Not sure how the hotel was in lockdown when the article says that people not in the Chinese group were allowed to leave.

Posted by
2211 posts

"The other 30 people in the man's group - who had been due to travel to Paris on Wednesday morning - have been ordered to stay confined in the hotel."

"Other guests at the hotel who had not had contact with the man have been allowed to leave."

Posted by
5302 posts

Janet is right, of course — the French have so far not been able to figure out how the 60-year-old teacher got the disease since he had not traveled anywhere considered at risk nor knowingly been around anyone else at risk. The same for the other case in the Oise, a 55-year-old in critical condition.

As of Thursday afternoon, known stats in France are:
18 total diagnosed cases

Of which
2 deaths
12 recovered and released from the hospital
4 still hospitalized

Posted by
5302 posts

A big change tonight from what authorities were reporting earlier this evening — 20 new cases have been identified, bringing to 38 the total number of people who have been or are infected in France.

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5302 posts

Yes, the health minister said today that they consider that we are now in “Phase 2” of the virus in France: that is, the virus is circulating in France and they/we need to “brake” its spread.

Posted by
1122 posts

Took multiple buses and Metros today. I saw one person wearing a mask.

Posted by
5302 posts

The government today has ordered the cancellation of any events that would gather more than 5,000 people — this includes tomorrow’s now-cancelled half-marathon.

100 cases of Covid-19 have been diagnosed in France as of this evening’s reports. Authorities have instituted more restrictive measures in the two areas hit the hardest so far — the Oise and Haute-Savoie.

Posted by
1494 posts

Thank you Kim for this information. We are watching this rapidly changing situation as we (as you know) have a RS trip to France in late April. Keeping our fingers crossed that we still can go. We will not cancel unless RS cancels.

Posted by
885 posts

Apparently security personnel walked off at the Louvre. Not sure if they have resolved the issue yet.

Posted by
16555 posts

The latest tweet from the Louvre says it will not open today; I suppose it would be past closing time, anyway. The tweet said nothing about what will happen in the future.

Posted by
882 posts

From what the news says the museum workers are unhappy with the lack of safety precautions. I'd expect the museum to open but be subjects to strikes or walkouts.

Posted by
64 posts

I am trying to remain positive and hope that warmer temperatures change the course of this virus. But I see our May tour has had some dropouts (went from “join waitlist” to “filling fast”) and National news is all gloom and doom. I tend to be less reactive so will not cancel though our traveling companions may. They have been more fierce in sounding alarm bells. I was telling my daughter-in-law about the situation and she said “so you could get stuck in France? Well we would miss you but there are worse places to be quarantined!” I am going to let the enthusiasm of the youth be the contagion for me.

Posted by
1 posts

We also have a Paris trip 5/17, the balance for the trip is due 3/13. I don’t know what to do!

Posted by
846 posts

May is far into the future. Things should hopefully ameliorate by then. My trip is at the very end of March and my trip with students is at the end of May. Trying to keep my hopes up.

Posted by
5302 posts

The virus continues to spread in France; as of this writing, authorities have identified a few more than 600 cases. There have been to date nine deaths, mostly elderly except for one 60-year-old man.

The government is closing all schools in the two most affected départements beginning Monday for two weeks — that is, in the Oise and the Haut-Rhin.

The biggest concern here given the lethality that the virus appears to have among elderly is protecting the elderly. The president has asked people to stop visiting their family members in nursing homes and asked workers to take special care.

The government is evaluating when they will move to their definition of Stage 3. They have essentially said that it is a matter of WHEN they upgrade to Stage 3 measures rather than IF.

Still, while people are anxious, they seem mostly calm. I can only imagine those with the most concern are those with aged loved ones (and this is how I think of the situation in northern Italy, where my elderly in-laws live).

To me it’s clear that the virus is going to continue to spread — the key is protecting those who are most vulnerable to it. (Of course one has to first assess who they are.)

Posted by
5302 posts

FYI the government has given pharmacies the right to produce their own alcohol gel and has limited the price to 3€ for a 100-ml bottle.

Posted by
449 posts

Kim, that would not happen in the US. Greed will be the biggest killer.

Posted by
653 posts

Just made my own batch of hand cleaner. Easy to do, and find a mix on-line. And I get to recycle many small plastic pop up containers, that get a second life. The reporting on spread in the US is sort of silly. I live near the I5 and am following first notices. Something is wrong here. Cause it should have run all the way up and down the I-5 by now. Its my belief it already has. We just don't have the tests to confirm it. So even if there isn't a "Case" in your area, it means nothing.

Posted by
770 posts

Note the jump from yesterday's count reported by Kim. As I write, the Johns Hopkins map has listed France as having 949 cases.

Posted by
6674 posts

Evidently France hasn’t reported yet today, Sunday, because it’s the same as yesterday, 949.

Posted by
5302 posts

Here's a map that Le Figaro has published showing the spread of Covid-19 across Metropolitan France.

“Cas” means “case.”

"Comment la France est tombée malade: notre carte pour suivre la propagation du coronavirus au jour le jour" :

“How France has fallen sick: Our map to follow the propagation of the Coronavirus day by day”

http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/comment-la-france-est-tombee-malade-notre-carte-pour-suivre-la-propagation-du-coronavirus-au-jour-le-jour-20200305

Posted by
904 posts

Well David its next week. Hopefully you went and or are still there and enjoyed and or enjoying your time there. Please let us know.

Posted by
5302 posts

So far, authorities have reported 300 cases in the Paris metropolitan area (Île de France). Some of those are residents from other regions who are hospitalized here, of course.

Follow @ars_idf on Twitter or check the website (google “ARS île de France”). They are issuing a daily bulletin.

Posted by
5302 posts

France will close all schools (including universities) as of Monday.

Posted by
568 posts

And they will close all crèches (day care). Just heard from our daughter who lives in France. We were supposed to visit our daughter & her family in April but, sadly, we will now have to cancel. Waiting to hear from American Airlines what their policy will be regarding cancellations/rescheduling.

Posted by
6674 posts

And working parents will be paid their salaries to stay home to care for their children.

Yes, one of the hardest parts for us as grandparents is not to be able to be with and help our children and grandchildren.

Posted by
17 posts

I have a trip to Paris scheduled for May 11. I'm not worried about catching the virus myself because I'm relatively young and healthy and have good virus prevention habits (washing my hands a lot, not getting too near people etc.). I still plan to go, but I'm worried that I will be prevented from going by canceled flights and/or travel policies like Trump's preventing people from returning from Europe. I will probably be able to get all of my money back for flights and tours, but it will be May 2020 before I can try again. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that the preventative measures we are taking this month will help eliminate COVID-19 (or at least bring down the number of cases significantly) by May!

Posted by
5302 posts

The government has forbidden all gatherings of more than 100 people — therefore, the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, Versailles etc are closed.

Posted by
5302 posts

And today the government moved to Stage 3, and has ordered the closing of all non-essential commercial establishments and gathering places — so as of midnight tonight, all restaurants, bars, cafes, cinemas, theaters, shops etc will close.

Allowed to remain open: food shops , pharmacies, tabacs, press kiosks, and gas stations.

Posted by
14 posts

This is a reply to Dianne, who said she’s not too worried because she’s “relatively young." I just read the following in France:
12:15 15/03/20 - Headline: More than 50% of people in intensive care are under 60
In France, all age groups are affected by the coronavirus. The 18-64 age group is the most affected by the epidemic with 61% of the confirmed cases. Then, there are people over 75 (19%), 65-74 (15%) and those under 18 (5%). "More than 50% of people in intensive care are under 60," said Health Director General Jérôme Salomon. "Some people realize that there is really a serious situation. If you ask hospital doctors and resuscitators, they are very struck by the influx of serious patients, some of whom are young people," he reveals.

I hope there’s improvement by May, too, but age is not necessarily a shield.

Posted by
14 posts

@David, if URLs are allowed here, you can see the current data on https://www.santepubliquefrance.fr/maladies-et-traumatismes/maladies-et-infections-respiratoires/infection-a-coronavirus/articles/infection-au-nouveau-coronavirus-sars-cov-2-covid-19-france-et-monde

Wow, that’s a mouthful. Anyway, the worst outbreak had been in the Grand Est Région of France, 1 085 cases as of 14/03/2020 à 15h but Ile-de-France, where Paris is, is rapidly catching up, with 949 cases and those data are kinda old now. The safest seems to be around the Loire. I would expect cases in Paris to outnumber other areas soon.

Posted by
6674 posts

I have to thank people who aren’t worried about themselves getting the virus. Your grandparents in intensive care will thank you too as you become a carrier. If you are young and healthy, then France will be there later. It’s the community you need to think about.