Cafés, hotels, cinemas, and other cultural venues and businesses in France that were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic will reopen in stages beginning May 19, according to President Emmanuel Macron.
Museums, theaters, cinemas, and concert halls will reopen on May 19, as will non-essential shops and outdoor seating at cafes and restaurants, according to Macron, who made the announcement to regional Frenchnewspapers.
Cafés and restaurants, on the other hand, would have to wait until June 9 to service customers indoors, he said.
Macronhas set a date for the lifting of an infamous nighttime curfew that has turned French cities into ghost towns after 7:00 p.m.
He said the curfew would be gradually removed, starting on May 19 at 9:00 p.m. and ending on June 9 at 11:00 p.m., before being finally lifted on June 30.
Franceis approaching the end of its third nationwide lockout, which was introduced in an attempt to control a significant third wave of infections.
In the last 24 hours, another 324 deaths have been confirmed, taking the total number of people killed by the pandemic to 103,947.
In the last month, the number of new cases registered daily has dropped from around 40,000 to around 27,000 on average over the last week.
After a three-week closure, primary schools reopened on Monday, with secondary schools following suit next week, when travel restrictions across the country will be lifted as well.
The French, on the other hand, were particularly eager to learn when the cafes and museums, which had been closed since October 30, would reopen.
Macron said that it was time to “resume our French-style way of life,” emphasizing the importance of “conviviality,” music, and sport. People must, though, be “careful and accountable,” he pointed out.
In late January, when the caseload was still stubbornly high, the moderate president, who is due to seek re-election next year, faced sharp criticism for refusing demands from medical professionals for a third national lockout.
He only gave up two months later, but the third incarceration cycle was more comfortable than the previous two.
Macron defended his handling of the health situation in an interview with regional newspapers.
“Science educated us, and we made the decision to put the human side first,” he said.
However, several health experts cautioned against removing gathering limits too quickly, worrying that the advances of recent weeks would be reversed.