The French government approved a bill on Wednesday establishing a state of sanitary emergency with which to legislate by decree to respond quickly to the crisis caused by the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Édouard Philippe told a press conference that it is not a matter of pronouncing “restrictive individual measures”, but of being able to adopt the necessary measures to face the epidemic, which in France has already caused 175 deaths and more than 7,700 cases of contagion.
This state of emergency, currently in force for the next 12 days, was declared in the Council of Ministers and the Executive will present its content immediately to the National Assembly and the Senate.
The Government follows the model established after the attacks in 2015, when a state of emergency was also declared, in that case terrorist and that, among other things, extended the allocation of the supervised residence regime to people whose behavior or companies presented themselves as a threat to public safety.
This new bill and two other economic ones also adopted this Wednesday, legally frame the measures already announced by both the President, Emmanuel Macron, and the Executive in response to this crisis.
Among them, an economic package that includes loan guarantees to companies worth 300,000 million euros so that they can maintain their treasury or the deferment for small companies to pay for electricity and gas.
Philippe’s appearance also served to confirm the Executive’s intention that the second round of the municipal elections, which was to be held on March 22 but was suspended for sanitary reasons, take place in June if the evolution of the situation allows it.
“France is going through a health crisis unprecedented in a century and needs strong measures to manage it,” said the prime minister, who explained that his goal is to protect both the population and the economic fabric.