Paris metros full as city enters first day of easing lockdown
France on Monday began its slow return to normal life after lockdown mode to prevent the spread of coronavirus. President Emmanuel Macron has urged citizens to act reponsibly as they gradually resume their daily actitivies. Shops, businesses and schools now face the challenge of enforcing social distancing to avoid a second wave of contagion.
France woke up to its first day of 'déconfinement', or the easing of lockdown measures on Monday, but new rules will apply.
A permission slip for every outing is no longer necessary for distances up to 100 kilometres away from their residence, but people will need a certificate from their employer to travel on public transport at peak hour (6h30-9h30, 16h-19h).
Authorities are urging people to respect hygiene measures such as social distancing, and wearing a mask on public transport.
On Monday morning, commuters on some central Paris metro lines faced difficulties to stay one metre apart as they made their way to work during peak hour.
According to a journalist for BFM television, there were delays on Line 13, which meant passengers were crowded on the platform, unable to keep a metre apart from one another. However, she said that all people were wearing masks.
Observers at the Chatelet-Les Halles interchange, one of the capital's busiest, said it was like an ordinary day before lockdown came into effect.
The public transport authorities have warned they will cut or modify some services if measures are not respected.
In the meantime, the authorities are urging members of the public to behave responsibly to avoid a sudden spike in coronavirus cases.
"Thanks to you, the virus has slowed down. But it's still there. Save lives. Be Careful," wrote President Macron on Twitter on Sunday night.
Grâce à vous, le virus a reculé.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 10, 2020
Mais il est toujours là. pic.twitter.com/ut8X0S4F9M
Health minister Olivier Veran told BFM television on Monday morning that confinement measures could come back into force if the virus takes off again.
He said that the contamination factor of the virus must stay below R-1. It is currently a little over R-0.6, which means the virus is losing ground, but this could change at any moment.
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