In a televised address to the nation on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron declared “a first victory” over the coronavirus epidemic, announcing a return to normalcy from Monday across French regions, except for overseas territories.
“From tomorrow, we will be able to turn the page on the first act of the crisis we have just gone through,” Macron said. “The new stage which opens from tomorrow will accelerate the recovery.”
“So, we will be able to find again the pleasure of being together, to fully resume work, but also to have fun, to cultivate ourselves. We will rediscover our art of living, our pleasure of freedom,” he added.
The remaining restrictions would be lifted in Ile-de-France which have so far lagged behind the rest of the country’s easing programme. Bars, cafes and restaurants will be allowed to receive clients.
All nurseries, schools and colleges will reopen from June 22 when all students have to attend courses, the president announced.
From Monday, European travellers will be able to enter French territory without restriction, while those from countries outside Schengen area will have to wait until July 1.
Visits to nursing home will be permitted and the second round of the municipal elections will take place on June 28. Meanwhile, large gatherings will remain “tightly controlled” despite improved epidemic indicators.
“We will have to live with (the virus) for a long time yet, respect the rules of physical distance…and follow the evolution of the epidemic to be prepared if it strongly resurges,” the president warned.
“The fight against the epidemic is…