Although President Macron continues to hint that a return to the French way of life is just around the corner, his promise of the good life rings increasingly hollow.

The coronavirus situation in France is far from encouraging, with key figures suggesting the country is at the same stage of recovery as the UK in late January, although with the French insistence on administering two doses close together rather than opting for a 12-week delay as in the UK, recovery could be slower.

A total of 5,984 people are in intensive care in France and 43,098 new cases were recorded in 24 hours, according to Public Health France on Tuesday. The figure was 39,113 last Tuesday.

The daily hospital death figure on Tuesday was 375 in the last 24 hours.

However, as was the case in the UK three months ago, vaccinations are accelerating and provide the only real hope of ending the current wave of infections. A total of 12,999,655 French residents have received at least one injection since the start of the campaign – equivalent to 19.4 percent of the total population – and 4,845,217 people have received two injections – 7.2 percent of the total population.

In the last 24 hours, 418,766 people were vaccinated: among them, 248,557 who received a first dose and 170,209 a second.

Health Minister Olivier Véran is putting an optimistic twist on the situation, and has raised hopes that ‘deconfinement’ could be introduced on a regional basis. That might be good news for Monaco’s neighbours in the Alpes-Maritimes, where inoculations are running ahead of the national figure and the benchmark infection rate per 100,000 has fallen to 214.

Meanwhile, Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin has promised more checks on French citizens as the weather gets warmer.

The UK recorded 2,524 new coronavirus cases and 33 new deaths on Tuesday, April 20.

FILE PHOTO: Olivier Véran