France to reopen cafes, museums and cinemas from May 19 as Covid infections drop – fr

France to reopen cafes, museums and cinemas from May 19 as Covid infections drop – fr

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                Beaucoup de gens attendent avec impatience la levée des restrictions aux coronavirus le mercredi 19 mai, grâce à l'accélération de la campagne de vaccination et à la baisse du nombre d'infections.  Il s'agit de la deuxième étape du plan du gouvernement français visant à alléger les mesures de verrouillage qui a commencé par autoriser les déplacements interrégionaux dès le début du mois de mai.

                                    <p>"La reprise du contact social est l'un des facteurs du bien-être public", a déclaré dimanche le chef de la santé publique Jérôme Salomon au Journal du Dimanche (JDD).

From May 19, theaters will reopen with 35% capacity, with no less than 400 films waiting to be screened alongside fall releases that have been suspended.

Museums, theaters, zoos, libraries and all non-essential stores will be allowed to reopen at partial capacity, while the curfew will be pushed back from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

As for cafes and restaurants, groups of up to six people will be able to eat together as restaurants open their outdoor seating areas to 50% of their capacity.

Some restaurants will remain closed

Some restaurateurs were complaining about the limits placed on the hospitality industry, especially given the risk of rain in what has so far been a very wet month of May.

“Imagine restarting the whole machine, creating a new menu, getting all your staff back, but then you have to cancel everything and throw away your merchandise because it’s raining,” Michelin-starred chef Philippe Etchebest told JDD.

In addition, less than half of restaurants in France have an area for outdoor dining, he said.

“Impossible,” Etchebest concluded, adding that he would wait for the next phase of easing restrictions on June 9, when some indoor meals and drinks will be allowed.

“Emergency brakes” always possible

Like other countries, the reopening of France is possible thanks to the drop in the number of infections and the acceleration of the Covid-19 vaccination program, with 20.3 million people having received a first vaccine to date and 8.8 million with both doses.

President Emmanuel Macron nevertheless warned that if infections resumed dangerously, the government could put on the “emergency brakes” and reapply the restrictions.

“We will not achieve collective immunity until we have passed vaccinations and minimized the circulation of the virus,” said public health chief Salomon.

A “health pass” and checks on inbound travelers, especially from hot spots like India, would remain crucial, he added.

(with AFP)



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