Starting next Tuesday, the French will practically return to normal with the opening of bars and restaurants or the elimination of the displacement ban, after verifying a strong improvement in the rates of infection and deaths from the new coronavirus.
“Freedom will finally be the rule again and prohibition will be the exception,” said French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, introducing the country’s plan for unconfinement after the pandemic.
“The virus is still present throughout the territory, but its speed of spread is currently under control. We are where we expected to be even a little better at the end of May than we expected,” said Philippe.
After two months of confinement in France and after an initial opening from May 11, the Executive will now apply more relaxed measures, the EFE and Ansa news agencies reported.
With the exception of the Parisian region and the overseas territories of Guyana and Mayotte, which remain on orange alert with certain restrictions, the whole of France will become “green zone” from June 2.
The most anticipated measure is undoubtedly the reopening of bars, cafes and restaurants in green areas, although with precautions such as the obligation to wear a mask, a distance of one meter between tables, maximum groups of ten people and the prohibition of standing consumption .
In contrast, the most affected areas, including Paris, will only be able to see the reopening of terraces on Tuesday and also with restrictions.
Parks and gardens reopen from this same weekend throughout the territory and, from June 2, museums and monuments, where the use of masks or chinstraps will be mandatory.
Philippe announced the end of the limitation of travel in France within a 100 kilometer perimeter, a provision with which they intended to control the circulation of the virus between territories with a greater or lesser incidence of cases.
Meanwhile, national borders remain governed by the principle of reciprocity between countries of the European Union until at least next June 15.
As for schools, the general reopening of the entire territory is confirmed as of June 2 with the progressive return of secondary school students, always in maximum groups of 15 students, although the Executive has totally canceled the oral tests of University access.
The Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, insisted that the reopening of the centers is a matter of social urgency “and more in a period of crisis.”
After more than 28,600 deaths in France since the start of the epidemic -66 in the last 24 hours- and just over 180,000 positive cases, the government relies mainly on data from hospital intensive care blocks, which have dropped of the barrier of 2,000 patients in ICUs, which still represents 30% of the total capacity of these units.
The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, also explained that the infection detection tests are offering results in less than 36 hours, which allows expanding the number of tests carried out and verifying that “there are fewer patients and fewer cases of contagion.”
The government insisted that the measures are reversible and could be deactivated if new spikes are registered, especially when it is not yet clear whether the trend towards the disappearance of the virus is temporary or not.
To do this, he recommended that citizens use the “StopCovid” application, which is not without controversy, which will allow citizens to know if they have been in contact with infected people. The Prime Minister insisted that the French Executive will not save users’ geolocation or have access to their private data.