POLITICS – When the conspirators summon the Sages. Since the obligation to wear a mask has spread throughout the world to fight against the worsening of the coronavirus epidemic, “antis” of all kinds are being heard. Self-erected as an “enlightened minority” against “liberticidal” measures, this movement is particularly active in Germany and the United States.
In France struggling to get out of the woods and on social media, over 80% said in our YouGov poll for The HuffPost that they will wear the mask outdoors. On Facebook, for the most part, it feeds on government flip flops and scientific procrastination on the subject. Comprised of a few hundred people in early July, the Facebook group “anti mask mandatory”For example, it has continued to accumulate members as the government’s assessment of this health protection has evolved.
Now that the mask is mandatory indoors and in certain frequented outdoor areas, the group has about 5,200 followers. In addition to the government’s difficulties in communicating, its members exchange scientific interviews and legal decisions in hopes of further expanding their range. And in this crusade, an argument occupies a special place: the ordinance of April 17 issued by the Council of State.
What the Council of State said
What did the highest French administrative court say then? To understand his decision, we must go back four months, in a France confined for a few weeks. As scientific doctrine gradually evolves on the use of masks, and the government begins to change its discourse constrained by scarcity, the mayor (various rights) of Seals Philippe Laurent is the first to impose the use of masks on his administered in space. public of your municipality, as of April 6.
Three days later, his decision was overturned by the summary judge of the Cergy-Pontoise administrative court, then by the Council of State, taken by the League for Human Rights, on April 17. The highest administrative court explains then that a local elected deputy “cannot, on his own initiative, take other measures to combat the health disaster” than those decreed by the State.
And at that time, the government was far from imposing the use of masks in public spaces. According to the Council of State, the Philippe Laurent move, also mentioned by Christian Estrosi at the time, would probably even undermine the “coherence and effectiveness” of the decisions taken then by the government on a large scale. national.
Worse still: on these legal grounds, forcing its citizens to go out with their faces covered was, according to the Magi, a “serious attack on the fundamental freedom to come and go.” “It is not mandatory to wear the mask, which is illegal as such. What it is, is that it is the mayor who planned this measure and not the state entities, ”he explained to the HuffPost, lawyer specializing in public law Louis le Foyer de Costil.
What has changed since
It does not matter, it is in this gap where today some anti-masks rush. Except that since April, the French healthcare context has changed. Government policy on barrier gestures as well.
Gone are the fluctuating speeches and government spokesman warnings about the dangers of wearing a mask. The thing has gradually become mandatory in transport and then in closed public spaces to protect against an increase in the epidemic.
But it is mostly a provision announced on July 31 by Health Minister Olivier Véran, which changed the rules for local elected officials, and annulled the April State Council order.
Because by imposing the use of the mask indoors, the government has also given the possibility, by decree, to the prefects – and therefore to the mayors – to impose the use of the mask abroad, in their territory. “In cases where this decree does not prescribe the use of a mask, the prefect of the department is empowered to make it mandatory, except in homes, when local circumstances so require”, written in the text signed by the Prime Minister.
Legal explanations, sanitary or not, nothing indicates that the beginning of the anti-masking sling stops there. For the moment, the agitation is limited to these exchanges in a vacuum in social networks where the Magi are invoked to better punish “the sheep”, a neologism that arises from the contraction between sheep and ostrich.
See also in HuffPost: Hidalgo slows down the management of the coronavirus in Parisian parks