Paris to exit lockdown with free masks, hand gel and mass testing, says mayor

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In the countdown to France’s gradual reopening after eight weeks of strict coronavirus lockdown, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has told French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche that masks, testing and bike routes that follow metro lines are at the heart of her plans for the capital.

All Parisians will be equipped with masks by mid-May, she says, adding that hotel rooms will be made available for people who test positive for Covid-19 but who cannot remain confined to their homes without contaminating their families.

As part of increased measures, antibody – or serological – tests have been ordered. Unlike a test designed to diagnose an active infection, serological tests can help identify individuals who have developed an immune response to the virus, either as part of an active infection or a prior infection.

A map of Paris is being drawn up with the help of APHP hospital authorities to determine which districts are worst affected by the epidemic. The screening and confinement of these areas will aim to stop the reappearance of clusters.

Hydroalcoholic gel is to be will distributed, free of charge, in public places, stadiums, swimming pools, schools and nurseries, while there are plans to install gel vending machines in the streets, at bus shelters and newspaper kiosks and at entrances to metro stops.