With the upsurge in the number of contaminations and hospitalizations due to Covid-19, the government may want to reinstate the wearing of compulsory masks in public transport.
The question of the obligation to wear a mask in public transport “is on the table all the time”, said this Thursday evening on France 5 Health Minister Francois Braun.
For the moment, the minister believes in the “responsibility” of the French who will follow the “solemn appeal” of Elisabeth Borne on Tuesday before the Assembly. “Let’s respect the barrier gestures, let’s wear the mask as soon as we are with fragile people or in areas of promiscuity”, thus pleaded the Prime Minister.
But if the situation – especially in hospitals – continues to deteriorate, the government could be tempted to reinstate this obligation to wear a mask, in transport or elsewhere.
Pass the obligation by a law?
It will no longer be as simple as before for the government to impose health restrictions on the entire territory. The law of July 30, 2022, which puts an end to the state of health emergency, recalls that “the measures (confinement, curfew, wearing a mask, health pass…) can no longer be taken, without the vote of ‘a new law’.
But without an absolute majority in the Assembly, it would be very difficult if not impossible to pass such a law for the executive. A member of the majority, an expert on the subject, qualified and gave another solution: “if the house burns, we can issue a decree on the basis of exceptional circumstances, the time necessary to have a vote of Parliament.”
In other words, in the event of a strong wave and the start of saturation in the hospital, the government could therefore issue a decree, without asking the opinion of the deputies. And the Council of State could let it go, given the circumstances.
But this maneuver remains risky. “A decree would probably be too fragile for a national obligation. It would take a law,” explained a member of the executive. It therefore remains to be seen what tactic the government will employ if the indicators continue to soar.
Source: BFM TV