Masks To Be “Recommended” Not Mandatory In France, Stores Could Reopen May 11

Coronavirus France Emmanuel Macron

Photo: Emmanuel Macron Facebook

President Macron held a marathon videoconference today with 22 mayors from across France, including Christian Estrosi in Nice and David Lisnard in Cannes.

Addressing life post-lockdown from May 11, the president assured that “a national framework will be set” for deconfinement and “will not be done in a regionalized manner.”

He stated that wearing masks in public will be “recommended” but not mandatory after the lockdown is lifted on May 11.

The reopening of schools will be on a volunteer basis, he said, adding that it will not be a one-fits-all solution as there are sanitation concerns with older buildings in some cities.

“The same goes for transport for which sanitation may be different in a large metropolis and in a small city,” the president also said. More details are due to be released on Tuesday, April 28.

Minster of state Serge Telle told Monaco-Matin last week that Monaco will follow France's lead and not open schools before May 11, although he gave no further insight as to how this might look for students and teachers. As for compulsory mask wearing in Monaco, the communications department told Forbes Monaco, “For the moment we are not talking about that.”

Also today, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire told France Info, “We want all retailers to be able to open on May 11 in the same way out of fairness” although a code of behavior to protect customers and employees would have to be defined.

Restaurants, bars and cafes will not be included in the first phase of deconfinement from May 11, and the government has denied that June 15 is the date they could reopen.

Some retailers that have benefited from a global lockdown: In the first quarter of this year, Netflix has had 15.8 million new subscribers while Amazon’s shares jumped 5% to hit a record high market value of $1.1 trillion.

According to Flowhub, cannabis sales in March were up 50% in some U.S. states where the drug has been legalized.

Europe’s sextech industry (sex toys, apps and services) is worth about $30 billion says Tristan Pollock of 500 Startups, and some sex shops have reported business surging by up to 500% since the lockdown.

“Social distancing can be quite challenging for our health, especially when it comes to our natural human need for touch. Self-isolation can be a great opportunity to reconnect and explore our bodies,” says Andrea Oliver, cofounder and chief executive of Emjoy, an erotic audio guide app whose downloads have jumped 45% with a 160% increase in usage.