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Jean-Baptiste Djebbari “advises the French to be very careful when preparing their trips” this summer

“Very clever who knows how to describe the transport offer and who knows how to describe exactly when we are going to deconfinate,” warns the Secretary of State for Transport.

France enters its fourth week of confinement. The whole economy is affected and it is difficult to ensure logistics in terms of transport in particular. “I advise the French to be very careful when preparing their trips [cet été]”, declared Tuesday April 7 on Franceinfo Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, Secretary of State to the Minister of Ecological and Inclusive Transition, in charge of Transport.

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What is the situation ?

We have a sector that works in slow motion. We have preserved a minimum offer of transport for trains and planes, since many French people are repatriated, more than 146,000 to date, in less than a month. We maintain the logistics chain through truckers, handlers, railroad workers, dockers, who ensure the continuity of the life of the country, in particular the food chain by working on the points of tension, the dysfunctions which can arise. The truckers denounced their working conditions during the coronavirus.

Did you do something for them?

I had checks made. Since last week, all service areas and the vast majority of toilets, showers and food outlets have reopened on the toll highway network. On the state highways, we reopened these areas, it’s a little more complicated, the level of services may be a little worse, but we did the work for the truckers. We owe them that. We have worked with them and their unions and employers on health measures when they load and unload and we are finalizing a guide which should be published tomorrow or the day after.

Some products are starting to become scarce. Is it because the French buy too much or is it because the trucks don’t all reach their destination?

A bit of both. At the beginning, we had a request which created these tension effects on certain products. There is also the breakdown of logistics flows. The road hauliers who used to load and unload a particular product must learn to work differently.

Can the French prepare for their big vacation?

I tell them to wait because very clever who knows how to describe the transport offer and who knows how to describe exactly when we are going to deconfinate. The priority is the effort we make to stay at home. We are working on different scenarios to prepare for the recovery, the good economic conditions. I advise the French to be very careful when preparing their trips [cet été].

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