- Title: Last day at school in France before coronavirus closures
- Date: 13th March 2020
- Summary: JOINVILLE-LE-PONT, FRANCE (MARCH 13, 2020) (REUTERS) PARENTS AND CHILDREN ARRIVING AT PRESCHOOL CHILD ARRIVING AT SCHOOL WITH HIS MOTHER AND ENTERING SIGN ON FRONT DOOR WARNING ABOUT CORONAVIRUS EXTERIOR OF SCHOOL CHILDREN ENTERING SCHOOL PUSH SCOOTERS WITH PARENTS AND CHILDREN OUTSIDE SCHOOL SIGN FOR SCHOOL CHILD ENTERING SCHOOL PARENT, JENNIFER TOURNAIRE, OUTSIDE SCHOOL (SOUNDBITE) (French) PARENT, JENNIFER TOURNAIRE, SAYING: "I'm a bit shocked, we weren't expecting this, and the children are in shock as well. My son was very worried, saw us worrying. So now we're waiting to see what our employers are planning because I think we might be forced to work from home and look after our children, so today and this weekend is going to be about organising ourselves, seeing with other parents, our partners, and maybe the grandparents, but we'll have to get used to it and see how we can manage. I think it's going to be complicated. And there's also the uncertainty, we don't know when schools will re-open, so it's all a bit confusing." PARENT, ELISE NSANGOU, WITH HER SON (SOUNDBITE) (French) PARENT, ELISE NSANGOU, SAYING: "I think these are reasonable measures, I'm just wondering why they waited so long. But it's true that it doesn't make sense because of the election which is still going on this weekend. It's not clear for companies because children have to stay at home so how do we organise ourselves? I'm lucky enough that my job allows me to work from home, but I think that it won't be simple for many people and I think the government should help companies take decisions." (SOUNDBITE) (French) PARENT, ELISE JOOP, SAYING: "I don't work so I'll have the children at home with me all the time, but for my husband it'll be more complicated because working from home while having the kids at home is a bit of a challenge, but we'll adapt, we'll find a way, and we'll try to organise ourselves with other parents so that the children can be together from time to time, do some homework together so that they can have activities together, otherwise the is really going to drag by." PARIS, FRANCE (MARCH 13, 2020) (REUTERS) FRENCH AND EUROPEAN FLAGS AT KINDERGARTEN AND PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN ENTERING SCHOOL SIGN AT ENTRANCE READING (French): "STARTING MONDAY MARCH 16 THE SCHOOL IS CLOSED" MELISSA BERDUK WALKING TO SCHOOL WITH HER TWO SONS (SOUNDBITE) (French) EIGHT-YEAR-OLD PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENT, HAMID BERDUK, SAYING: "It makes us freak out a bit, with germs everywhere - in the metro, in buses, everywhere." (SOUNDBITE) (French) HOUSEWIFE AND MOTHER OF THREE CHILDREN, MELISSA BERDUK, SAYING: "When we saw the most recent number of cases each day, the infected people, there are 200 to 300 people more, we realised that our children are more exposed because they are not as careful as us. And so we expected this (school closures), and we think it came too late. We expected it to happen, but not as sudden as this." CORONAVIRUS PREVENTION SIGN MAN WALKING WITH CHILDREN AND STROLLER PARENTS AT SCHOOL ENTRANCE
- Keywords: France coronavirus parents reactions school closures
- Reuters ID: LVA001C4VXP3B
- Location: JOINVILLE LE PONT AND PARIS, FRANCE
- City: JOINVILLE LE PONT AND PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Duration: 00:03:56
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: French parents were preparing on Friday (March 13) for a nationwide shutdown of schools as the government attempted to contain the coronavirus epidemic.
President Emmanuel Macron announced the closure from Monday (March 16) of all nurseries, schools and universities in the country until further notice.
France is following suit after neighbouring Italy has resorted to school closures to try to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Citing scientists, Macron said children "are the ones that spread the virus the quickest, even if they have no symptoms".
At the Simone Veil pre-school in Joinville-le-Pont situated on the outskirts of Paris, parents raised questions about how they would juggle childcare and working from home during the closure.
In a televised address on Thursday Macron urged employers to allow their staff to work from home wherever possible, and said that people over 70 years of age or with existing health conditions should stay inside as much as they can.
On Thursday (March 12), the French Health Ministry said the death toll in France from the coronavirus outbreak had risen to 61 from Wednesday's 48. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in France had also risen to 2,876 from 2,281, with 129 people in very serious, life-threatening condition.
(Production: Lucien Libert, Michaela Cabrera, Clotaire Achi)
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