(Image Credits: AP/Pixabay)
France Prime Minister Jean Castex on April 22 said that the peak of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in France "appears to be behind us". He further assured that the travel restrictions within the country will be relaxed from next month. While addressing a press conference, he said that there has been a decrease in COVID-19 cases reported for the past 10 days in the country.
Castex said that restrictions of confining people to a 10-kilometre radius of their homes would be dropped from May 3. He said that depending on the health situation easing the lockdown could start with the reopening of cafe, restaurants, cultural activities, shops. He added that the government could allow reopening on a regional basis according to the infected cases reported in the region.
Government spokesman Gabriel Attal also confirmed that France will lift its ban on domestic travel as planned on May 3, but will maintain its nighttime curfew, now in place from 7 pm. to 6 am. Non-essential shops, closed since the partial lockdown of the country at beginning of April, won’t reopen before mid-May, he said. Earlier this month, France ordered a third nationwide lockdown for a month, including in Paris amid the recent surge of coronavirus cases. In a televised address on March 31, the French President announced the immediate closure of all schools and non-essential businesses, issuing home confinement orders. There has been an extension in the previously enforced 7 pm curfew to tougher restrictions.
France has also suspended flights from the countries where there is a spike in COVID-19 cases. France suspended all flights from Brazil to protect the European nation from P1 or Brazilian variant of novel coronavirus. It also announced quarantines for passengers from Argentina, Chile and South Africa. France will be imposing a 10-day quarantine for travellers arriving from India in the upcoming days to prevent the spread of COVID-19, said French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal on April 21.
The health department said daily infections are down 17% which Castex explained involves 80% of French territory. According to Johns Hopkins University, the total number of infected people has reached 5,469,674 in France. A total of 102,323 people have lost their lives in France due to the pandemic. The new COVID-19 cases reported on April 22 were 33,445 while 277 people died due to the novel virus on Thursday. In France, 17,868,688 people have been vaccinated with the first shot of the vaccine and 4,850,310 people have been fully vaccinated.