Deconfinement in France: schools and transport plan
French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe presented the deconfinement plan this afternoon to the Assemblée Nationale. Here is what he said about schools, travel and gatherings in France:
- Reopening schools is a priority as too many pupils had been cut off from education during confinement with teachers reporting no news from between 5 and 8%, rising to 40% in some areas.
- Parents can decide whether their children return to school – it will not be obligatory. Classes will be limited to a maximum of fifteen.
- First back will be primary and maternelle classes starting progressively from May 11, throughout the country. Pupils will not have to wear masks.
- From May 18, collège pupils, starting with those in sixième (age 11) and cinquième (age 12) will start to go back. But only collèges in departments with a “very feeble” virus circulation will open. Pupils will have to wear masks.
- Teachers will be provided with masks to use when they cannot be more than a metre from pupils.
- The Prime Minister said a decision for lycées would be taken at the end of May.
- Crèches will also reopen from May 11 with groups of ten children. Children under three years old do not need to wear a mask.
- Transport between regions will be limited.
“It is not the time to leave a department to go away for the weekend”, the Prime Minister said.
- After May 11 it will be possible to travel freely without a confinement form, except for journeys of more than 100km, when you can only travel for professional or urgent family reasons.
- Wearing a mask will be mandatory in all public transport and fewer people will be allowed on each bus, train, tram or metro and every other seat will have to be empty.
The Prime Minister asked that there would be as many buses, trains, trams and metros running as possible. He said that 70% of the Paris RATP transport would be running on May 11.
- Gatherings of people must be avoided and limited to 10 people in both public and private spaces.
- Funerals with 20 people would be allowed as they are now.
- There will be no religious ceremonies until June 2 at the earliest.
- No events with more than 5,000 people will be able to take place until September 2020.
- The professional sports season, notably football is cancelled for 2019-2020.
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