France to ease COVID-19 restrictions further

France to ease COVID-19 restrictions further”

The prime minister said he would also be lifting 100-km limit on travel starting next week.

But face masks will remain mandatory on trains, metros and other public transport "so long as we do not have a treatment" against the new coronavirus, environment minister Elisabeth Borne said Wednesday.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced measures to ease the coronavirus lockdown in the country allowing restaurants, cafes and bars to reopen and resume domestic travel within the country from next week.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has urged the government to reopen parks for residents who have been cooped up for weeks, not least to avoid the mass gatherings on canals and esplanades as summer approaches, many of which have been dispersed by police.

Even if they are allowed to re-open, it will be with strict hygiene guidelines and they may only be able to open to 50 percent capacity in order to respect social distancing.

That could allow the government to lift restrictions on travelling, with residents now required to stay within 100 kilometres (60 miles) of their homes, tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said this week.

Parks and gardens can reopen across the whole of France from this weekend.

"In these departments, the lodging in query can exclusively reopen within the third part of confinement, that's after June 22".

The coronavirus has claimed more than 28,500 lives in the country to date, while hundreds are being treated in intensive care, though this is more than a third fewer than at the epidemic peak.

More news: Ontario reports 383 new COVID-19 cases, 34 more deaths

As for dining out, a mainstay of French culture, Philippe specified people can meet in restaurants and cafes in groups of no more than 10, and with a minimum of one metre (3.3 feet) between tables. Nearly all other French regions have "green" status, meaning they are more free of the virus.

In Paris, only outside tables can be occupied.

Servers and cooks will have to wear masks at all times, and clients upon entering and leaving, said the premier.

Contact sports will still be banned the time being.

Cinemas, theatres, museums, swimming swimming pools and leisure centres are additionally going to be again in enterprise by the tip of June, together with vacationer lodging together with resorts and campsites.

"The virus is still circulating very actively in certain parts of the world", the premier stressed. "We are better than where we hoped to be", said Philippe as he spoke to the nation this evening.

France will look to reopen borders with other European countries on 15 June, he said.

Britain has notably made clear its intention to impose quarantine measures on all travellers arriving from overseas from June.

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