In an attempt to avoid another nationwide lockdown, the French government has come up with an alert system involving different shades of red for areas that have high numbers of Covid-19 cases.
The level assigned to an area is based on both the number of cases and the situation in local hospitals.
Different levels involve different types of restrictions, with the highest level seeing the closure of all bars in the area.
The alert levels are; alert, heightened alert, maximum alert and state of emergency.
One important thing to note is that some alerts are for the whole département and some are only for a single metropole – a city and its surrounding suburbs.
So in Bouches-du-Rhone – the département that includes Marseille – people who live in the Aix-Marseille metropole are on maximum alert level while people in the rest of the département are on alert level (pink).
On Sunday October 4th Paris and the petite couronne – the départements of Seine-Saint-Denis, Hauts-de-Seine and Val-de-Marne
The health minister Olivier Véran’s latest briefing was on Thursday October 8th when four more cities were placed on maximum alert, followed by anothe two on Sunday October 11th
Alert – there are 72 départements concerned by this, coloured pink on the map. On October 8th the départements of Nievre and Morbihan were taken off alert level but the départements of Lot-et-Garonne and Mayenne were added.
Heightened alert – There are eight metropoles on this alert level; Bordeaux, Rennes, Rouen, Nice, Toulouse, Montpellier, Dijon and Clermont-Ferrand.
Maximum alert – The metropoles of Aix-Marseille, Paris and surrounding départements in the petite couronne, plus Lille, Lyon, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne, Toulouse and Montpellier.
These designations will be reviewed weekly and the health minister says that the aim is that no areas will be on maximum alert level for more than a fortnight.