RTL Today – France: Macron aims to ease virus lockdown in France from May 11

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                        Le verrouillage de la France pour contenir l'épidémie de coronavirus sera prolongé jusqu'au 11 mai, a déclaré lundi le président Emmanuel Macron, mais a ajouté que les restrictions pourraient commencer à être assouplies à partir de ce moment si les tendances positives actuelles se poursuivaient.                        

While giving France a concrete date for a possible end to strict imprisonment, Macron acknowledged that the country was not prepared for a crisis that killed nearly 15,000 people in the country.

“The strict containment must continue until Monday, May 11,” Macron said in a televised speech, adding that it could then be relaxed “if we continue to be good, responsible and law-abiding citizens, and if the spread of the virus has indeed continued to slow. “

Isolation has confined the French to their homes since March 17, with only brief trips allowed outside for shopping and other essential errands.

The epidemic “is beginning to stabilize … hope is returning,” he said, acknowledging that France was “clearly not sufficiently prepared” when its first cases were reported last February.

“We were running out of dresses, gloves, gel and we were not able to distribute as many masks as we would have liked,” he said.

Schools and daycares could reopen gradually as well as some businesses, he said. But cafes, restaurants and other places with large public gatherings will remain closed, and universities are unlikely to resume classes or tests before summer, he added.

The elderly and vulnerable will continue to stay at home and the government will provide face masks for others when they venture outside.

“For the most exposed workers and in certain situations such as public transport, their use could become systematic,” said Macron.

“May 11 will be the start of a new phase. It will be progressive and the rules can be adapted based on our results, ”he said.

Test capabilities will also be increased so that anyone with symptoms can be diagnosed, with positive tests placed in quarantine – a measure doctors have recommended as a key method of containing the epidemic.

The government will also work on developing an application for phones that could identify people who have come into contact with an infected person.

– ‘Best days’-

The daily death rate in France was again below its record level on Monday – 574 new deaths from COVID-19 for a total of 14,967 since the start of the epidemic.

The number of people in intensive care declined for the fifth consecutive day, with 24 fewer, leaving 6,821 in serious condition.

“We will have better days,” said Macron. “And the virtues that allow us to hold on today are those that will help us build our future: our solidarity, our confidence and our will. “

A study by the French Institute for Health Research INSERM and others published on Sunday warned that lifting the confinement rules too soon could trigger a “second overwhelming wave”.

Critics say Macron and his government have blurred their coronavirus messages, particularly by initially saying that widespread use of face masks was not necessary, saying weeks later that people should wear them in public.

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