Anxious to prove that everything is pretty much under control as schools prepare for the annual big event – rentrée – on Thursday next week, a slew of government ministers took to the airwaves of France to reassure parents they’ve done all they can in difficult circumstances.

Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer used the annual August press conference to say that 89 percent of teachers are now double-vaccinated. He added that the education sector has been in a state of crisis for 18 months. However, he believed “we did our best.”

Minister of Health Olivier Véran said that there are two facts that worry him as September looms, one being the return of holiday-makers from the southern parts of France where coronavirus infection levels are higher, and the second being the resumption of the school year and the spread of infections in the classrooms.

Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that booster inoculations will be administered in care homes from September 12, providing the most vulnerable with a third dose of vaccine.

Mr Castex said that there would be no going back on the decision to punish medical workers who failed to get vaccinated:
“When we do this job, we must believe in science, in medicine, and we are there to protect… the sanctions provided for by the legislation will be implemented” from September 15 for unvaccinated caregivers.

Overall, the health situation in France continues to improve, with the benchmark infection rate falling to 217 per 100,000 on August 21 from 247 one week earlier. In the Alpes-Maritimes, where hospitalisations and intensive care figures continue at a high level, the rate had fallen to 438 on August 26.

PHOTO: PM Jean Castex on RTL on August 26 Screenshot