Measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus will be maintained in Paris when the foreclosure is eased in other parts of France, said his prime minister.
Edouard Philippe said the country was “cut in half” in terms of infection rates. Restrictions will remain in the capital and the northeast regions.
He intervenes as France prepares to ease its lock on Monday, with stores and some schools allowed to reopen.
The country has suffered one of the highest Covid-19 death rates in Europe.
Nearly 26,000 people have died from the disease in hospitals and nursing homes, but the number of new cases has also decreased in recent days.
The health ministry said on Thursday that the virus had killed 178 people in the past 24 hours, 100 less than a day earlier.
The restrictions – introduced on March 17 – would be lifted in several weeks, Prime Minister Philippe said Thursday.
“This is good news for France and for the French,” he said.
The government has released a color-coded map of the country, dividing it into green and red areas based on the infection rate.
The restrictions will be more relaxed in green spaces than in red for the moment.
To begin with, primary schools and most businesses will be allowed to reopen in both areas. Cafes, restaurants and secondary schools may reopen in green areas in June if infection rates allow, said Philippe.
In Paris and in the four neighboring regions – Ile-de-France, Hauts-de-France, Grand Est Bourgogne-Franche-Comte – which make up the red zone, the parks and public gardens will remain closed.
The masks must be worn on public transport, which will be disinfected at least once a day, and stores will have the right to ask buyers to wear them. Social distancing rules will also remain in place.
But for the first time since the lockdown began, people everywhere (except the French island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean) can return to work and leave their homes without downloading a permit.
CCTV cameras will monitor the number of people wearing masks and at least one meter (3 feet) apart.
In other developments in Europe:
- The Swedish death toll has exceeded 3,000. The country has not imposed strict lockdowns and although the toll is higher than that of its Scandinavian neighbors, it is lower per capita than Britain, the France, Spain or Italy
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce Sunday for the first time his intention to facilitate the foreclosure of the country
- Restrictions on Moscow must be extended until May 31, said city mayor
German Bundesliga to resume May 16, first major European football league to do so
- Greece will reopen its museums in June, according to the Ministry of Culture. Tourism is a vital part of the Greek economy.