At the end of a cold winter, the sun made an appearance this Sunday in France, and especially in Paris. This is perhaps what led many French people to ignore the clear instructions set out by the President of the Republic during his televised speech on Thursday March 12th, instructions which were supported by the Prime Minister's statements on Saturday the 14th of March. A large number of photos showing French people gathered in parks, in markets or on terraces circulated on social networks, shocking internet users.
A misunderstood message
However, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe's call was clear: 'We must all together show more discipline in the application of these measures (...) We must avoid gathering as much as possible, and limit gatherings between friends and family,' he explained. A message clearly misunderstood by the French, and especially by Parisians, who still seem to underestimate the danger of this type of gathering, despite the warnings of several doctors.
Similar situation in other regions
And Parisians are not the only ones to blame. In the French cities of Bordeaux, Grenoble and Rennes, similar situations were observed. Enough to make the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, react and deplore these photos: 'Alongside the photos of closed restaurants, there are also images of happy grandparents with their grandchildren. The virus is invisible, and it is circulating. It spreads fast, and it threatens people's lives. I implore the French watching to respect these measures of social restraint.'
Celebrities are taking action
These photos shocked internet users, as well as many public figures, who denounced these gatherings and called for strict compliance with the instructions issued by the government and the president of the Republic.