Coronavirus: France reveals plans to ease COVID-19 lockdown measures | World News

France’s prime minister has revealed plans to ease lockdown measures in the country, with children returning to school and many shops allowed to reopen.

Edouard Philippe has said the restrictions, which have been in place from mid-March, will be relaxed from 11 May.

The Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 football seasons will not resume until September, and cafe and restaurants will not be reopened before the beginning of June.


Mr Philippe promised enough masks will be available for all people in the country from 11 May.

The French government is calling on every company to provide workers with masks and will help small firms obtain them if needed.

Five million will be made available each week to the most vulnerable people.

French prime minister Edouard Philippe announced the plans on Tuesday
French prime minister Edouard Philippe announced the plans on Tuesday


The French government aims to carry out at least 700,000 virological tests a week by 11 May.

Authorities are to identify and test all those, symptomatic or not, who have had close contact with a person who tests positive.

All of those who have contact will be asked to isolate themselves, as uncertainties remain about how it long takes for symptoms to emerge once someone has caught coronavirus.

Those who test positive will be forced to confine themselves for 14 days, either at home or in a place made available to that person such as a requisitioned hotel.

An English speaking family in France describe their daily lives in isolation

Day-to-day isolation in France


Kindergartens and primary schools will reopen nationwide from 11 May but on a voluntary basis.

Secondary schools will gradually reopen from 18 May and all pupils will be required to wear masks.

Kindergarten children will not be allowed to wear masks over safety fears in case they misuse them, and the government will make masks available for secondary school students who are not able to get them themselves.

Class sizes will be kept to 15 students per class and distance learning will remain free for those students who stay home.


The French people will continue to be encouraged to work from home where possible.

Companies will be asked to stagger work hours by introducing shifts where working from home is not possible.

Masks will be required where social distancing is not possible.

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Shops will be allowed to reopen from May with the exception of those in shopping centres.

Restaurants and cafes will have to remain closed.

Public transport

Urban transport will be made as accessible as possible with 70% of the Paris network expected to be running on 11 May.

The wearing of masks will be compulsory on all transport, metros and buses.

The government wants inter-regional travel to be limited to professional or family reasons.

The wearing of masks on public transport will be compulsory once lockdown measures are relaxed
The wearing of masks on public transport will be compulsory once lockdown measures are relaxed

Other public spaces

People will be able to move freely outside without having to fill out a form justifying their activities from 11 May, except trips of more than 62 miles.

Such certificates were required under lockdown to leave the house for food, shopping and exercise.

Gatherings of more than 10 people indoors or outdoors will remain banned, while over-65s have been urged to remain cautious when going out.

Beaches will remain closed to the public at least until 1 June.

Libraries and small museums will be able to reopen from 11 May but large museums will not.

Places of worship may remain open, but the government is asking them to not organise services before 2 June.

France's top flight football season has been cancelled
France’s top flight football season has been cancelled


The French prime minister announced no sporting events, even those behind closed doors, could take place before September.

The country’s sports ministry later said that this did not include the Tour De France, but there could be restrictions in terms of the number of spectators.

The country’s Ligue 1 is the first of Europe’s top five football leagues to call an end to their domestic campaign.

It follows a similar move by the Eredivisie in the Netherlands last week.

Summer holidays

The government will reassess at the end of May whether conditions are suitable for a further easing of restrictions and will decide whether cafes and restaurants can be reopened and if summer holidays can go ahead.

It will also seek the extension of a state of health emergency until 23 July.

Sky News

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