Paris remains deserted as France prepares to lift its lock tomorrow

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The streets of Paris remained deserted today before the easing of France’s eight-week draconian lockdown tomorrow, amid signs that the public was frightened in confining the house.

On the last day of what was one of the harshest responses in continental Europe to the coronavirus, the streets around the Eiffel Tower, down the Champs-Élysées and the Avenue de l’Opéra looked like ghosts.

The few who left their homes wore face masks or exercised once a day. A police officer even took the time to photograph the Arc de Triomphe.

Prior to the lifting of government isolation alongside Belgium, France reported 70 other deaths from coronavirus today. Today’s numbers are the lowest since the lockdown started on March 17.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Macron’s polls fell during the crisis. Around March 19, the French president obtained a 51% approval rate according to a poll by Harris Interactive.

By the end of March (30-31), Macron’s approval rate had dropped to 39% with a disapproval rate of 57% according to a poll by Elabe as the death toll increased.

A man wearing a protective mask walks the streets of Paris on the last day of total isolation, May 10, 2020

A man wearing a protective mask walks the streets of Paris on the last day of total isolation, May 10, 2020

A short jogger on the deserted avenue of the Champs Elysées with the Arc de Triomphe in the background, May 10, 2020

A short jogger on the deserted avenue of the Champs Elysées with the Arc de Triomphe in the background, May 10, 2020

View of the Champs-Elysées in Paris, the last day of the draconian eight-week foreclosure of the coronavirus in France, May 10, 2020

View of the Champs-Elysées in Paris, the last day of the draconian eight-week foreclosure of the coronavirus in France, May 10, 2020

According to an Ifop-Fiducial poll of April 30, the President’s approval rate has dropped from the fall in late March to 40%, although that remains nearly 10% lower than when he imposed the lockdown.

Tomorrow, hair salons, clothing stores, florists and bookstores will reopen. Bars, restaurants, theaters and cinemas will remain closed and primary schools will accommodate only a small number of students.

Face masks will be mandatory because the public is again using public transportation to get back to work.

Men, women and children of all ages will be allowed to go out without having to submit a form upon request. But people can only go 60 miles from their home.

People are concerned that the Macron government’s foreclosure may be lifted too quickly. A director of a bookstore in Lyon said he was “afraid of dying” about its reopening.

“It is a big responsibility to have to protect my staff and my customers,” he added.

Many parents are also torn as to whether or not to send their children back to school, a sign that, as in Britain, the French government’s coronavirus messaging has been too effective.

France recorded 70 deaths associated with coronavirus today, the lowest daily toll since the lockdown of March 17, 2020

France has recorded 70 deaths associated with coronavirus today, the lowest daily toll since the lockdown of March 17, 2020

The number of new cases has decreased since the high in late March, reaching 579 confirmed cases of coronavirus on May 9.

The number of new cases has decreased since the high in late March, reaching 579 confirmed cases of coronavirus on May 9.

View of Place du Trocadéro by the Eiffel Tower in Paris on the last day of France's eight-week lock, May 10, 2020

View of Place du Trocadéro by the Eiffel Tower in Paris on the last day of France’s eight-week lock, May 10, 2020

View of empty deserted Opera Avenue with traffic with the Paris Opera in the background on the last day of detention

View of the empty deserted Opera avenue with traffic with the Paris Opera in the background on the last day of detention

A policeman takes a photo of the Arc de Triomphe in the French capital on the last day of detention, May 10, 2020

A policeman takes a photo of the Arc de Triomphe in the French capital on the last day of detention, May 10, 2020

“Our efforts during the lockdown worked and saved thousands of lives,” say French officials.

The eight weeks of confinement in France “worked and saved thousands of lives,” officials said.

The French health ministry said one of Europe’s most drastic blockages had saved many lives, with 70 deaths from coronavirus reported today.

Today’s death toll is the lowest since Marcy 17, the day the foreclosure began in France. Saturday also had a record number of 80 dead.

Tomorrow, France will emerge from the lockdown, but many restrictions will remain in place at the national level.

“Our efforts during the lockdown worked and saved thousands of lives,” said the Department of Health.

“They must succeed for this new phase to succeed,” he said, warning that the epidemic is “active and progressive.”

Kindergartens and elementary schools are expected to start as a first step, and classes will be limited to 10 students in kindergartens and 15 elsewhere. Administrators were asked to prioritize education for children aged 5, 6 and 10.

Due to the slow start and persistent fears about Covid-19, school attendance will not be required immediately. Parents and guardians can keep children at home if they prefer. Students whose parents want or need to send them to school are not guaranteed places in smaller classes and will only be allowed to attend if their school can accommodate them.

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has estimated that 80-85% of the 50,500 French nursery and elementary schools will open this week. High schools in regions with fewer virus cases are expected to reopen on May 18. A target date has not yet been set for high schools.

Given the ambiguous educational orientations and the uncertainties concerning the spread of the coronavirus, French parents are in conflict when they wonder why to take the most responsible decision. Cécile Bardin, whose two sons are 6 and 2, said she thought it was “too early” to put them back in their nursery and primary school in Paris.

“I am not reassured at the moment because it will be very difficult to keep a safe distance at school, especially for the little ones, who will want to play together,” she said.

Mathilde Manaud and her partner raise their children 3 and 7 years old at Pré Saint-Gervais, in the eastern suburbs of the French capital. They agreed to send the child children back to school if there were places.

“The truth is that we don’t know if we’re right or not, we don’t know if it’s a mistake. We ask ourselves that question every day and we change our minds every day, “said Ms. Manaud. “We are trying to convince ourselves that if they reopen, they assume they can handle the situation. “

View of the Champs-Élysées in Paris on the last day of the draconian eight-week lockout of the coronavirus in France, May 10, 2020

View of the Champs-Élysées in Paris on the last day of the draconian eight-week lockout of the coronavirus in France, May 10, 2020

French President Emmanuel Macron wears a protective mask with a blue-white-red colored ribbon as he gestures while speaking with school children during a class during a visit to Pierre de Ronsard primary school in Poissy

French President Emmanuel Macron wears a protective mask with a blue-white-red colored ribbon as he gestures while speaking with school children during a class during a visit to Pierre de Ronsard primary school in Poissy

Returning students will see their classrooms function differently. Teachers will wear masks and remind children to distance themselves socially and to wash their hands several times a day.

Macron sought to reassure parents and teachers when he visited a primary school in a city west of Paris last week. Macron said the schools would gradually reopen because he wanted “things to be done right.”

School principal Mathieu Morel warned the president that “children are still children. There are spontaneous movements that are difficult to prevent. The school expects that about 50 out of 181 children will return this week.

Some mayors of France have refused to reopen local schools. Michele Berthy, mayor of the city of Montmorency north of Paris, sent parents a letter saying that the government’s health directives were “inapplicable”.

“Although I am for the recovery of our economy, I am certain that public health must remain our priority,” he writes.

Mayors of other regions impose local registration restrictions, for example by limiting access to school for children of essential workers such as the police and health care providers, as well as families whose conditions are precarious.

This is the situation in Paris, where Ingrid Rousseau hoped to send the youngest of her two children, 6 years old, to school. She does not know if her son will be allowed to leave, even though she and her partner are working.

“I don’t feel quite up to the mark,” she said. “We are overwhelmed. We don’t have enough time.

Paris authorities estimate that around 15% of the city’s students will be able to return to school. Other towns and villages believe they can serve about half of the children normally in kindergarten and elementary schools.

Scientists are still divided on the role children play in the transmission of the new coronavirus, which has infected more than 176,000 people in France, killing at least 26,300 of them, according to government figures.

Health officials have repeatedly stated that children appear to be the demographic category among those least affected by Covid-19. The World Health Organization has reported that children appear to have only mild symptoms, although some serious cases and deaths have been reported as the virus continues to spread worldwide.

Other infectious disease experts say that although children can contract the virus and can be infectious, it is clear that they are not super-diffusers of Covid-19 as they are suspected of having the flu .

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