The United States suffers record unemployment while Europe fares better in battling the coronavirus shutdown.
- 41.5 Public Health
- 61.2 Financial
- 100 Fact-Based
France maintained its improved public health policy from the early fall, keeping its score relatively strong, although poor contact tracing and a relatively small stimulus package kept it from being higher.
France had relatively strong socio-economic and healthcare capacity pre-pandemic, including a robust universal healthcare system (generally seen as one of the best in the world), minimal debt, and a very healthy population.
- Debt/GDP ratio 98.4%
- GDP/capita $48,640
- Gini coefficient (out of 100) 31.6
- Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 3
- Healthcare access score (out of 100) 87.9
- Hospital beds/1,000 People 46.7
Government ResponseSelect a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Mar 15.)
Public Health Directives
France scores near the median for public health policy, with sizeable relative declines in contact tracing and emergency healthcare spending in the past two months, undoing some of the progress it had made.
- Stay at home order 2
- Public gathering restrictions 4
- School closings 1
- Public event cancellations 2
- Testing policy 3
- Emergency healthcare investments/capita $177.71
- Travel restrictions 3
- Tests/1,000 people NO DATA
- Contact tracing 1
France has a relatively strong financial response score, driven by debt forbearance and income support for both employed and unemployed workers, although its stimulus package is relatively weak.
- Financial stimulus as share of GDP 15.8%
- Income support 2
- Debt forebearance 0
High-level health officials have provided regular press briefings, first daily and then weekly and monthly.
- Reliance on science/fact based information 0
- Press freedom 0
COVID-19 Status as of Mar 15
France scored near the median in this category, as it lowered its death rate and substantially lowered its case rate since January.
- Total deaths 24,105
- Death rate per 100K 353.7
- Total cases 4,138,345
- Cases per 100K 262
- Percent of positive tests 7.7
- Change in positivity rates +2.5
|1||Jun 02||Restaurants and bars reopen for outdoor dining||-9.49|
|2||Jun 22||Nursery schools, primary schools, and junior high schools reopen||2.08|
|3||Aug 12||Halts plan to allow public gatherings of 5,000 people until October 30||38.12|
|4||Oct 30||Partial lockdown—schools open, but non-essential businesses close||725.98|
|5||Dec 15||Replace lockdown with night curfew||171.03|
- French public skeptical of vaccine safety: Recent polls indicate that roughly half the adult population in France may refuse a COVID-19 vaccine, a proportion significantly higher than global rates. Read More
- France begins easing some travel restrictions: France has opened travel to and from select countries outside of the EU—Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Britain, and Singapore—but has left all other restrictions in place. Read More
- French government revises stance on AstraZeneca vaccine: The French government has now approved the use of the vaccine for people over the age of 65, including those with pre-existing conditions. Read More
- Number of COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care reaches highest level since late November: Despite the surge in cases pushing Paris hospitals to near capacity, the government announced that it does not plan to introduce new lockdown measures. Read More
- France will enforce night-time curfew starting December 15th: The previously enforced stay-at-home order will be lifted on December 15th, but a daily curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. will remain in effect. Museums, cinemas, theaters, sports venues, bars, and restaurants will all remain closed through the start of 2021 as well. Read More
- Facemasks made mandatory amid case spike: Mask requirements are expanding from most enclosed spaces to workplaces and public areas, with requirements to apply to those age 11 and over. Read More
- Income support mitigated layoffs: France has averted high unemployment by paying 80 percent of wages to workers who would otherwise be laid off due to the pandemic. Read More
Compared with Neighboring Countries
Per 1M 22,432
While hit hard by COVID-19, Italy’s reliance on facts and improved contact tracing has helped slow the spread and slightly improved its overall score since January.
Per 1M 10,229
Germany has improved its score a bit in the past few months, after a sharp decline in the fall. Its improvements in contact tracing, which are already likely underestimated in the data, and restrictions on public gatherings, have played important roles in this turnaround, although there has been a recent spike in cases, likely due to both recent restriction relaxations and vaccine rollout issues.
Per 1M 4,870
Spain's score jumped since January to just over the median, having implemented stricter public health policies, but the country's minimal stimulus support still drags down its overall score.
Further Reading From Foreign Policy
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Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:
- Debt to GDP ratio
- Infant mortality rates
- Hospital beds per 1,000 people
- Gini coefficients measuring inequality
- Health access and quality
COVID-19 Public Health Directives:
- Stay-at home orders
- School-closing policy
- Public-gathering restrictions
- Cancellation of public events
- Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
- Emergency healthcare spending per capita
- Travel restrictions
- Contact tracing
COVID-19 Financial Response:
- Stimulus package as a share of GDP
- Income support
- Instances of misinformation by leadership
- Limitations on press freedom, censorship
Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:
- Death rates per 1 million
- Case rates per 1 million