France to decide end-May when to reopen bars, restaurants

Reuters , Friday 24 Apr 2020

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization and other world leaders about the coronavirus outbreak during a video conference at the Elysee Palace Friday, April 24, 2020 in Paris. (Photo: AP)

France will decide towards the end of May when bars and restaurants will be allowed to reopen, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Friday, as the government prepares to ease some of its coronavirus lockdown measures from May 11.

Bars and restaurants in France have been shut since March 14, three days before a wider stay-at-home order came into force to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

"Nothing would be worse than to make a hasty reopening which would then force us to close again. It would be a huge disappointment for the restaurant owners, a huge disappointment for French people as well", Le Maire told reporters.

The government has said it will announce a more detailed plan for exiting the lockdown next week.

From May 11, children will begin returning to school, but this will be organised in stages and classes will be much smaller in order to reduce infection risks.

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