The six-month lockdown of COVID-19 in the country is now starting to ease.
The French government is gradually lifting restrictions to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 and give citizens back a part of their world-famous lifestyle. As part of the first stage of the plan, the 7 p.m. nighttime curfew in France has been pushed back to 9 p.m. and museums, theaters and cinemas have reopened their doors as well as outdoor café terraces.
President Emmanuel Macron took a seat on the terrace of a café, chatting with customers. Prime Minister Jean Castex, who was planning to attend a cinema later on Wednesday, projected a mood of measured optimism.
“Let’s live in trying to live together,” Macron told reporters. “If we manage to organize ourselves collectively and continue to vaccinate, to have a common discipline as citizens, there is no reason why we cannot continue to move forward.
Actor Emmanuelle Beart went to a cinema in Paris where his last film The Embrace (The embrace) showed. The appetite for seeing movies was such that many in Paris lined up for breakfast to see a movie instead of having their morning croissant.
Industry film buff Michael Wish set his alarm clock to make sure it would show at 9 a.m. Drunk.
France is not the first European country to find some semblance of social and cultural life. Italy, Belgium, Hungary and other countries are already allowing alfresco dining while drinking and eating indoors, Britain began Monday.
Restaurants in France have been closed since the end of October, the longest period of any European country except Poland, where bars and restaurants reopened for outdoor service on Saturday after being closed for seven months.
However, the French government has put limits on the fun we can have. Theaters can only accommodate 35% of their capacity, while museums must restrict entrances to leave space between visitors. Restaurants can only occupy 50% of their terrace and have no more than six people at a table.
Leading figures in the restaurant industry in France were frustrated by the government’s perceived inability to protect their prized gastronomy from the worst. Yet many, like Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse, have chosen to keep their anger over the crippling six-month closures and instead imagine the future of bustling dining rooms and full wine bottles.
” Possesses [the government] done enough? The answer is no’. . . . [But] optimism is a decision. We have decided to be optimistic. French gastronomy will continue, ”he declared.
France has recorded more than 108,000 deaths from COVID-19, among the highest tolls in Europe. But virus deaths, intensive care unit admissions and the rate of coronavirus infection are now on the decline.
About 40 percent of France’s adult population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine – but that rate is still well behind Britain’s 70 percent and behind several other EU countries.
Tourists waited with enthusiasm and palpable emotion as the cordon around the world’s most visited museum and the home of the Mona Lisa, the Louvre, was finally lifted.
“I am extremely moved. In fact, the moment I entered the Louvre, really just in the gallery, I immediately started to cry. Real tears of joy, ”said Pauline Lacroix, psychotherapist.
“It means a lot, you know. This means COVID-19 is starting to end, ”said another visitor, Walid Hneini.
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