France announces significant lifting of restrictions
Addis Ababa, June 15, 2020 (FBC) – French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a number of coronavirus restrictions are being lifted.
Cafes and restaurants are reopening across France and travel to other European countries will be allowed.
People will also be able to visit family members in retirement homes, which have been hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Germany, Belgium, Croatia and Switzerland are fully reopening borders with EU countries on Monday.
Travelers from the UK will be able to visit them without quarantine or restrictions on arrival.
However, those travelling to France from the UK or Spain face a two-week isolation period on their return.
And most people returning to the UK from outside the Common Travel Area – the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man – face a similar quarantine.
More than 29,400 people have died of coronavirus in France, and the country has had almost 194,000 confirmed cases – although the number of new cases has slowed markedly in recent days.
President Macron first imposed a strict lockdown on 17 March. These remained in place until 11 May, when the country began to cautiously ease restrictions.
In a televised address on Sunday, Macron said France had won its “first victory” but he warned the virus could return.
“As soon as tomorrow, we will be able to turn the page on this first chapter across all our territory,” he said.
Restaurants, hotels and cafés were allowed to reopen in many parts of France earlier this month – provided distancing rules were observed.
Macron confirmed that from Monday, this would also happen in the Paris region, which recorded the highest number of cases in the country.
He also said that schools would reopen from 22 June – except for high schools.
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