France’s PM Édouard Philippe announces updated colour coded map and details of government plan to ease lockdown from May 11.
FRENCH Prime Minister Édouard Philippe has today given further details of France’s government’s plan for easing Covid-19 lockdown measures that go into effect on May 11. However, Philippe has warned the easing will be gradual and targeted to stem a resurgence of the virus. The PM confirmed that May 11 would mark the beginning of a “progressive” exit from lockdown for France’s 67-million-strong population, warning that the process would “stretch over several weeks at least.”
“Next Monday will mark the start of a very gradual process (…), which will allow the country to emerge slowly but steadily from the lockdown,” Philippe said, hours after the government put the final touches to its highly-anticipated roadmap.
Philippe said the government was looking to “strike the right balance between the indispensable resumption of economic (…) life and the equally indispensable need” to ensure the safety of the public. He said the exit from lockdown would be “differentiated,” with restrictions to be lifted gradually and varying between regions.
The French PM unveiled an updated version of the government’s colour-coded map dividing the country between red zones, for high-infection areas, and green zones, where infections have been markedly lower. The map is designed to serve as a reference for lockdown easing measures.
“Some areas are still seeing an active circulation of the virus or a lot of pressure on hospitals. Those are classified as red areas,” Philippe said. “We will be ending the lockdown there, but some restrictions will remain in place: middle schools will remain closed, and so will parks and public gardens.”
The prime minister said both the authorities and the public would have to remain “especially vigilant” in the densely populated Paris region, a red zone, “where the number of cases is going down but remains high – higher than we had hoped for.”