Macron to present plans for ending Covid state of emergency

Photo: EPA

The coronavirus situation is improving in France and President Emmanuel Macron will outline on Friday how restrictions will be progressively relaxed, news wires reported.

According to PM Jean Castex the government also plans to replace from 2 June the current state of health emergency, which gives officials greater power to impose tough measures to contain the spread of the virus, with a "transition regime" that will run until 31 October.

This is to retain leeway to react swiftly if health conditions were to deteriorate as France exits its lockdown, Castex told reporters on Wednesday.

France, the Eurozone's second biggest economy, started its third national lockdown at the end of March after suffering a spike in Covid-19 deaths and case numbers.

President Emmanuel Macron is hoping the lockdown, along with an accelerated vaccination campaign, will improve France's Covid-19 figures which would then allow certain businesses and leisure activities, such as outdoor dining, to reopen in mid-May.

"The epidemic situation continues to improve at a regular pace. Virus circulation remains high but is on a real downward trend even though its impact on hospitalisation is limited, notably on the number of people in intensive care units," Castex said.

He said weekly new cases numbers were declining and the ‘R’ rate that measures the spread of the virus was now at 0.89, meaning that, on average, every 100 people infected will infect 89 other people, also indicating a downward trend.

French schools reopened on Monday after a three-week closure.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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