Dec 16th, 2020, 12:06 PM

AUP Students Share Remarks on France's Lifting Confinement

By Oscar Padula
Empty Paris streets. Image Credit: Flickr/barnyz
Despite safety concerns, everyone is eager to return to reduced restrictions as France's second COVID-19 wave begins to subside.

AUP students have mixed feelings over France's decision to lift its national lockdown on December 15, opening certain cultural centers and allowing travel without an exemption form. Some students are eagerly anticipating socializing and exploring the city, others are nervous for a potential spike in cases, but all are relieved that confinement is nearly done. 

As of Tuesday, France has implemented a new curfew between 8 pm and 6 am in place of lockdown, as one of the new tactics to combat the virus. Although an attestation is still required for travel between these hours, residents can now move about freely during the day. But according to The World Health Organization, France currently holds more than 2,390,000 cases and almost 60,000 deaths recorded, with cases still on the rise. AUP students who remain in France are now considering their new-found freedom outside of lockdown, but are also practicing safety measures.

"I'm really eager to go back in movie theaters," said Marion Garnier, a French citizen and AUP junior. She added, however, that "recently the number of cases has started to rise," expressing a concern that the confinement lift will allow people to go out without taking any precautions. "Right now, I see people on the streets who have no business being there, and using whatever excuses they want to go out and have fun, which pisses me off because I'm staying home — we are the ones paying the price."

Student Marion Garnier in confinement. Image Credit: Marion Garnier

Some students claim that the lift won't be a big change from the status quo. "I know a lot of people who haven't stayed faithful to quarantine rules this second lockdown, almost as if there never really was a lockdown," AUP student Yasmine Moriel remarked when reflecting on the quarantine. "People are indifferent ... I'm indifferent," Moriel said. She explained that many AUP students have already been socializing secretly. "A lot of people are lacking human interactions and that motivated people to break the rules." 


Other students, like Andrew Callaghan, organized lockdown with friends. He explained, "some friends and I decided to get an Airbnb together, and did confinement together, which was nice," but he has now moved back to his apartment and is excited for the lockdown being lifted.

"I'm very happy about it," Callaghan said, adding that he feels "better about [the lift] since bars and restaurants won't be open, but once that happens, I'll be nervous." However, Callaghan plans on leaving Paris shortly after the lockdown is lifted. The AUP junior predicted that he "wouldn't be shocked to see a spike in cases," but he does not foresee it being on the same scale as the wave in October

With the semester wrapping up, students are hopeful, whether they are traveling home or staying in Paris, that the next semester will be different. In the words of Callaghan, "the end is in sight, we just have to hold on a little longer."