Macron to announce roadmap to reopening France 'from mid-May'
French President Emmanuel Macron is to chair a meeting at the Elysée Palace on Thursday to examine the protocols for reopening the retail, hospitality and cultural sectors that have been shut down since the peak of the Covid-19 second wave in October.
In a statement, the president's office said: "Following meetings led by ministers with the various sectors concerned by the closing of establishments, Thursday's discussion will study the health protocols envisaged for a gradual reopening."
The meeting, to begin at 6pm, will be attended by Prime Minister Jean Castex and Health Minister Olivier Véran, as well as ministers from the economy, education, interior, culture and tourism sectors.
In a televised address on 31 March, Macron announced the country could re-open "with strict rules" from mid-May – including bars, restaurants and cultural venues – that have been closed since 30 October of last year.
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Primary schools are scheduled to reopen on 26 April, with junior and senior high schools opening the following week.
The implementation of the measures is expected to be complicated, while trying to maintain social distancing and sanitary protocols and ensure the prevention of a fourth wave of the virus.
The government, however, is expected to take stock of improvements in the containing the spread of Covid-19, specifically with regard to the ramped-up rollout of vaccines.
Also on Tuesday, a Senate fact-finding committee recommended the gradual reopening of certain cultural venues depending on potential risks, in collaboration with local elected officials, even if the dates won't be the same for all regions.
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