France unveils final plan on easing Covid-19 lockdown

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French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on Thursday details his government’s plan for easing Covid-19 lockdown measures that go into effect on May 11, ending France’s nearly two-month confinement. But Philippe has warned the easing will be gradual and targeted to stem a resurgence of the viral outbreak. Follow FRANCE 24’s live coverage by clicking on the video.

Unveiling a preliminary plan last week, Philippe told parliament the lockdown had saved thousands of lives but must now be lifted to avert economic collapse. He said the exit from lockdown would be “progressive” and “differentiated”, with restrictions to be lifted gradually and varying between regions.

On Thursday, the prime minister is expected to release 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.

Measures unveiled last week have drawn fire from critics who say they are confusing and premature. In particular, opposition legislators and some experts have questioned the practicalities of schools reopening, the broad use of public transport and the tough restrictions that will continue to affect areas less affected by the virus.