French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on Thursday detailed his government’s plan for easing Covid-19 confinement measures on May 11, warning that the exit from lockdown would be gradual and targeted to stem a resurgence of the viral outbreak.
The prime minister confirmed that May 11 would mark the beginning of a “progressive” exit from lockdown, ending almost two months of strict confinement for France’s 67-million-strong population.
“Next Monday will mark the start of a very gradual process stretching over several weeks at least, which will allow the country to emerge slowly but steadily from the lockdown,” Philippe told a news conference, hours after the government put the final touches to its highly-anticipated roadmap.
“Some areas are still seeing an active circulation of the virus or a lot of pressure on hospitals. Those are classified as red areas,” Philippe said. “We will be ending the lockdown there, but some restrictions will remain in place: middle schools will remain closed, and so will parks and public gardens.”
As part of the phased exit from lockdown, primary schools and most businesses — though not cafes and restaurants — will be allowed to reopen as of May 11, both in red and green zones. In the latter zones, Philippe said secondary schools, cafes and restaurants may open from early June if the infection rate remains low.
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