Today, on France's 53rd day of confinement, prime minister Edouard Philippe confirmed details of easing lockdown measures on May 11.
In his discourse, the French prime minister emphasized that May 11 represents a progressive start to France's post-confinement, where citizens can start to find a balance between their normal social, professional and family lives and the respect for taking the necessary precautions to prevent this epidemic from spreading.
He did not rule out reintroducing confinement measures should it be necessary down the road. And as minister of the interior, Christophe Castaner, stated, “One thing is for sure: the virus does not move on its own, offenses will continue to be penalized.”
From Monday, the entire country will enter the first phase of deconfinement. Attestations will no longer be needed to justify being out of the house. The population is free to leave their homes for any reason and for any amount of time.
To go further than 100 km, you’ll have to provide a new attestation to justify a “compelling reason” for travel, either family or professional. Fine: €135.
In Île-de-France, a certificate from an employer will be needed to take public transport during rush hour. Those going to medical appointments or childcare will also be permitted but you could be fined €135.
Interregional travel will be very severely limited. On TGV and intercity trains, service will only hit 40% by the end of May. Only half of the available seats can be sold. Hydroalcoholic gel must be available and floor markings installed.
Mandatory mask on public transport
Wearing a mask will be compulsory on public transport across the country or you’ll be fined €135. Masks are for sale to the public in pharmacies and grocery stores, among other places.
The northeast of France and the rest of the country
France is divided in two zones, with the four regions in the northeast—Ile-de-France, Grand Est, Hauts-de-France, and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté—in red and the others in green. Those in the green will see parks and forests reopen, large commercial centers and middle schools.
In Île-de-France vulnerable people will have to continue to respect “voluntarily the very strict rules of caution as seen over the last two months.” As well, there will be super strict rules for public transport and new restrictions may be implemented if social distancing is insufficiently respected.
From Monday, nursery and primary schools will reopen and “a million pupils are expected.” Middle school will follow from May 18, but only in the green zones. The state will not force the reopening of schools if a mayor does not want to take the risk. Monaco schools will also reopen Monday, starting with older students.
Working from home to continue
Employers are encouraged to continue with “télétravail” and to adapt office schedules to offset everyone working at the same time.
Beaches and boating
Access to beaches and lakes will be prohibited until June 1, at the earliest. However, the prefect may authorize access on a case-by-case basis “at the request of the mayor” who will have to prove that physical distancing can be respected. The same applies to pleausre boating or individual water sports, like kayak or paddleboard.
Sports and gatherings
Only individual practice will be authorized. Gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed.
Cap 3000 and Polygone Riviera, along with hairdressers, florists, and bookstores, are some of the 400,000 companies representing 875,000 jobs that will reopen Monday. (Bars and restaurant dates will be announced end of May). Shopping centers of more than 40,000 m² will open on prefectural agreement, except in Ile-de-France. Construction and public works will resume "almost completely" by the end of the month.
Borders outside EU remain closed
Individuals living in a neighboring country may come to France if they have a “compelling economic reason with a work contract”— seasonal work or child care. No travel outside Europe for the foreseeable future.