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28 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

French PM unveils post-lockdown plan, face masks on public transport to be compulsory

By Samuel Horti

Shops and markets will reopen when France leaves lockdown on 11 May, but not restaurants and bars, and face masks will become compulsory on all public transport, under plans put forward by French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe.

French nursery schools and primary schools will reopen with limited class sizes when lockdown ends on 11 May, followed by some secondary schools on 18 May. Masks will be compulsory in all schools except nursery schools.

Retailers that reopen will be able to require customers to wear a mask on their premises, he said. 

After 11 May, the country will enter a monitoring phase until 2 June, with different rules for each region of France. Areas with most new cases will have the tightest restrictions. “Our national strategy has to be adapted to different circumstances,” Philippe said. “So, we have to live with virus, to end the lockdown progressively and adapt to circumstances; these are the three elements of our strategy.”

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The lockdown will only end if the number of new daily infections drops below 3,000 by 11 May, he said. 

The French National Assembly will now debate the plans. 

Philippe also announced a government ambition to test 700,000 people a week for coronavirus, including everyone that has come into contact with an infected peron.