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French people may take the streets again from May 11th.

The Alpes-Maritimes and the Var, like most regions of France, are preparing to emerge from two months of confinement, a measure that has never been seen before and which has been generally respected throughout the country, allowing a clear decrease in the coronavirus epidemic, according to the authorities.
This is not the beginning of the end. But the beginning of a new life. A large majority of the population is losing confidence on Monday 11 May, 56 days after an unprecedented containment to contain the coronavirus epidemic.

“We must be careful not to think that everything is settled, that there is no need to wash our hands, that we can kiss each other, etc.,” warned on Franceinfo virologist Marie-Paule Kieny, a member of the Comité analyse recherche et expertise (Care), the committee responsible for advising the government.

To avoid a new outbreak of the epidemic, “it is absolutely necessary” that people “apply the barrier gestures, that is to say that they go from a confinement at home to a confinement on oneself, to think that one must protect oneself, one must protect others,” insisted this former assistant director general of the WHO.

No holidays allowed, relaxation announced

Comments: France aims to welcome European holidaymakers again from 15 June. On that date, the country in consultation with other European countries to open the borders again. Condition is that the virus does not blow up again.

Measures: At this moment strict rules still apply:

Citizens throughout France must stay at home and work at home as much as possible.
For journeys of more than 100 km as the crow flies outside the department of your place of residence, you must have a valid reason and carry a declaration, an attestation.
What is open? In principle, shops are allowed to be open. Shopkeepers can make demands on the behaviour and measures of their customers (wearing a mouth shield, keeping a distance, etc.). From 2 June, the hospitality industry in most regions will reopen and beaches and parks will be accessible again.

From May 11th, the wearing of a mask will be mandatory for :

all school teachers when they cannot respect the physical distance of one meter with others.
all early childhood professionals.
all schoolchildren
all bus, taxi and VTC drivers when the vehicle does not have a Plexiglas protective window.
all users of public transport (train, bus, tram, metro, …)
customers of certain shops when the wearing of a mask is required to enter them.

Where to buy them in each city?
According to information disclosed by Le Parisien on 23 April, masks will be available for sale in tobacconists from 30 April at the indicative price of 5 euros. Each tobacconist will have to place his or her own order for masks on a platform designed by the Confederation of tobacconists. From 27 April, pharmacies are also authorised to sell masks to the general public to their customers without the need for a doctor’s prescription. Since Monday 4 May, masks for the general public or surgical masks sold in supermarkets such as Carrefour, Monoprix, Lidl, Intermarché or E. Leclerc. These masks will gradually become available in Drives and other mass-market retailers such as Auchan, Aldi, Cora, Casino, Système U… informs the Ministry of the Economy and the Federation of Commerce and Distribution (FCD) in a press release published on April 29. “As we have done with other distribution channels, we are working to meet the objective that every French person should be able to get protective masks on 11 May. I salute the responsibility of the players in mass distribution for their commitment regarding the prices of the masks sold in their stores,” stressed Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Secretary of State to the Minister of the Economy and Finance.

The major food retailers (Auchan, Aldi, Carrefour, Colruyt, Cora, Groupe Casino, Intermarché, Leclerc, Lidl, Netto, Supermarché Match, Système U) confirm that masks for the general public (cloth and reusable) and single-use masks will gradually be put on sale, in stores and drives, from Monday 4 May, with supplies increasing after 11 May.

Price of a reusable fabric mask in supermarkets: between 2 and 3 euros
Price of a surgical mask, single use, in supermarkets: less than one euro.

Special form

An exception is made for people who go to work or to a doctor. Shopping is also allowed. But if you want to take to the streets for these reasons, you must have a special form. This can be downloaded from sites of the French government.

France follows Spain and Italy, who took similar measures. France now has over 6600 corona virus infections and 148 deaths. Almost a quarter of all victims fell in the northeast of France. The army will set up an emergency hospital there in the next few days to relieve local hospitals.

Invisible enemy

Like Prime Minister Rutte, President Macron addressed his people on television. “It’s war,” he said repeatedly. “And we’re dealing with an invisible enemy.”

Macron announced the national quarantine on TV. “Only go outside when necessary.” Minister Castaner said that “family meals and soccer with friends” are forbidden, “but you can still walk the dog”.

Elections postponed

Macron also announced that the second round of the local elections, scheduled for next Sunday, will be postponed. He said the government will take measures by decree if the situation so requires. All reforms, such as pensions, will be put on hold in order to give absolute priority to the fight against corona.

Macron and Minister Castaner also both said that the European Union is going to close its external borders. Formally, no decision has yet been taken on this in Brussels. But the French are convinced that this measure will be announced on Tuesday. “People from outside the EU will be banned from entering,” Castaner said.

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