President Emmanuel Macron reveals France's route of of lockdownNovember 24, 2020
The worst of the second wave is over but we must avoid a third, Macron tells the French as he reveals the country’s path out of lockdown
- Emmanuel Macron announced restrictions to replace lockdown on Tuesday
- Shops will reopen and religious services can begin again from next week but restaurants and gyms will need to wait until at least January 20
- A 9pm curfew will be reintroduced exempting Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve
- France has reported more coronavirus cases than any country in Europe and has one of the world’s highest death tolls from the disease
People in France will be able to shop at their favourite stores and attend religious services again next week after a month of partial virus lockdown – but they’ll have to wait until at least January 20 to savour a meal in a restaurant or break a sweat at the gym.
President Emmanuel Macron laid out new rules on Tuesday in France’s virus strategy, after imposing nationwide restrictions last month as virus infections, hospitalisations and deaths surged around Europe.
France’s infection rate per 100,000 people is now less than a third of what it was at the start of November, and the number of people in hospitals and intensive care has been trending downward for a week.
‘The peak of the second wave is over,’ Macron announced in a televised address to the nation.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced the country’s road out of a month-long lockdown in a televised address on Tuesday
Shops will reopen and religious services can begin again from next week but restaurants and gyms will need to wait until at least January 20. Pictured: A man reacts to Macron’s address on Tuesday
The situation remains tense, however, with hundreds of virus-related deaths per day, so the cautious emergence from the lockdown reflects that.
On December 15, some museums and cinemas will be allowed to open, and the nationwide stay-at-home rules loosened.
France will re-introduce its 9pm curfew, and the strict associated fines, however Macron said that the curfew will be waived for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
On January 20, restaurants and gyms will be allowed to reopen provided that daily infections are below 5,000.
Currently, everyone in France needs a permission slip to leave their home and no leisure travel is allowed, although schools and some workplaces remain open.
The government ruled in line with doctors who warned against relaxing restrictions too quickly as France did when it emerged from a first lockdown in the spring with no clear policy on mask wearing and a limited testing capacity.
‘If we let go too quickly, the virus will circulate again too quickly,’ Remi Salomon, head of the medical commission at the Paris hospital authority, told broadcaster France-Info on Tuesday.
Wearing legwarmers, cummerbunds or headgear made of surgical masks, owners of shops, restaurants and bars marched through Lyon on Monday to demand permission to reopen.
Some threw red flares and one held a sign reading simply: ‘No Future.’
Thousands gathered in the city’s Bellecoeur Square, some holding signs that read ‘For sale’ with the Élysée Palace’s phone number underneath.
France has reported more infections than any country in Europe and 49,232 virus-related deaths, among the highest tolls in the world.
Macron’s announcement comes a day after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said haircuts, shopping trips and visits to the pub will be back on the agenda for millions next week when a four-week lockdown in England ends on December 2.
Wearing legwarmers, cummerbunds or headgear made of surgical masks, owners of shops, restaurants and bars marched through Lyon on Monday to demand permission to reopen
More than a thousand people gathered in Lyon’s Bellecoeur Square on Tuesday to demonstrate against ongoing coronavirus restrictions. Pictured: Men hold signs reading ‘For sale’ with the Élysée Palace’s telephone number below to protest measures keeping their establishments closed
One shirtless protester in a central square in the city of Lyon held a sign reading simply: ‘No future’
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