by Steve Martindale
In a televised address watched by a record 36.7 million people, President Emmanuel Macron confirmed last night that the current lockdown will continue for a further four weeks. “The 11th May will be the start of a new phase,” the president told the nation. “It will be progressive and the rules will be adapted according to initial results.”
From this date, creches and schools (maternelle, primaire, collège and lycée) will gradually reopen across the country, starting with the least at-risk areas, but higher education establisments will remain closed until the summer. Bars, cafés and restaurants will also not immediately be able to reopen and neither will cinemas, theatres and museums.
France’s borders will also remain closed to non-EU countries until further notice.
Whilst many have welcomed what is being hailed as the beginning of the end, there remain many unanswered questions as to exactly which parts of the country will be opened up first and how the post-lockdown rules will change. With a number of other European countries themselves already easing restrictions, the potential consequences for France should become clearer in the coming weeks.