In his third prime-time televised address to the nation, President Emmanuel Macron announced Monday, April 13, that the confinement period in France would be extended until May 11.
Outlining his confinement exit strategy, the president said from this date anyone showing coronavirus symptoms will be able to be tested. And masks will be made available, in conjunction with mayors, to the public, and for professions exposed to germs and people, like public transport, its use will be commonplace.
There will be a gradual reopening schools and daycare although higher education will remain closed until September.
Restaurants, cafes, hotels however “will remain closed” and there will be no festivals “before mid-July.”
The Bank of France reported on April 8 that the country’s economy has shrunk 6 percent in the first quarter of 2020, its worst performance since 1945, due the coronavirus lockdown.
On Sunday, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, president of Medef, the Movement of the Enterprises of France, the country’s largest employer federation, told Le Figaro,
“Sooner or later the question of working time will have to be asked, public holidays and paid leave holidays will have to support economic recovery and facilitate, by working a little more, additional growth.”
According to official figures, as of Monday, 14,967 people have died in France due to the coronavirus, the fourth-highest death toll in the world, and more than 98,076 cases have been confirmed.