France has coded seven more departments red for Covid-19, bringing to 28, the number of departments where stricter measures against the virus can be adopted, according to a decree published on Sunday in France’s Official Gazette.
Departments (départements) are the numbered second-tier administrative subdivisions of France and are widely used there to designate locations.
The seven include Nord, Bas-Rhin, Seine-Maritime and Côte-d’Or – departments with big cities such as Lille, Rouen, Le Havre, Strasbourg and Dijon – Corsica’s two departments (Corse-du-Sud and Haute-Corse) and the Indian Ocean island of Reunion.
The first departments to be coded red due to Covid-19 infection spikes were Paris and Bouches-du-Rhône. That was on 14 August.
When a department becomes an “area of active circulation of the virus,” more commonly known in France as a red zone, it means its prefect has “enhanced powers” to take additional measures, based on “local epidemiological data.”