French senators call for more freedom of movement as Covid virus appears to slow

French senators call for more freedom of movement as Covid virus appears to slow

Issued on: 21/11/2020 – 15:28

68 centrist and right wing senators in France have called for an easing of restrictions on movement and outdoor activities, as concerns grow over health risks linked to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. This comes as health authorities say the virus has likely passed its peak. 

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68 senators have written to Prime Minister Jean Castex asking him to ease restrictions on physical exercise imposed on 30 October as part of the second lockdown.

Under the current Covid-19 restrictions, people can only go outside for essential work purposes, medical appointments, to help vulnerable individuals, buy food or exercise alone for one hour within a 1km radius of their homes.

The signatories say that “limitating outdoor physical exercise makes no sense” given that “public health concerns are taking precedence over the rest”.

“Recent health studies show that the risk of contamination from Covid-19 outdoors, providing health measures are respected, is virtually nil”, read the letter, which was seen by AFP on Saturday.

On the other hand “it is all the more important to take into consideration the risks linked to our sedentary lifestyle, as many of our citizens are currently working from home and therefore reducing their daily physical activity”.

Among the risks, the senators cite cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, depression and anxiety – all of which are aggravated by a sedentary lifestyle.

On Thursday health minister Olivier Véran described France’s increasing mental health problems during lockdown as  the “hidden face” of the epidemic.

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