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President Macron to announce 3-step route out of lockdown

The President will give a speech tomorrow evening detailing deconfinement plans in France for December and January

23 November 2020
Hand gel at the door in a Paris bookshop. President Macron to announce 3-step path out of lockdownNon-essential shops are expected to open from December 1, with increased restrictions on how many customers can enter
By Joanna York

President Macron will announce a three-step plan for deconfinement in France over winter in a televised speech tomorrow (November 24).

Government spokesperson Gabriel Attal spoke with news source le Journal du Dimanche yesterday (November 22) about the progressive deconfinement strategy. 

Shop openings planned for December

The first step concerns opening shops and is planned for December 1, with new health protocols in place such as stricter limits on how many customers can enter at one time.

Mr Attal said that “restaurants and bars would continue to be subject to restrictions” during this step, meaning that they are likely to remain closed.

He did not indicate if places of cultural interest, such as museums, would be allowed to reopen in early December; and he did not say if there would be a return to the curfew measures proposed by government advisory body le Conseil Scientifique at the beginning of confinement in October.

He said that the current travel exemption forms would continue to be mandatory for all journeys outside the home at this stage.   

 

Christmas and New Year still under discussion

The second step will be introduced just before the end of year festivities, but Mr Attal did not give details on what this step might entail.

Decisions on lifting travel restrictions are expected. In an interview with news source BFMTV on Saturday, CEO of train network Voyage-SNCF Alain Krakovitch encouraged people wishing to travel by train over the festive season to reserve now. While this might seem optimistic to some, he advised this on the basis that “there is no risk", he said. "If the news is worse than we hope, reservations can be reimbursed.”

Third step planned for January

Mr Attal said the third step of deconfinement is planned for January, although other news sources have reported that early February is also being considered. 

No announcements or confirmations have been made, but it expected that this is when bars and restaurants may be allowed to reopen.

Mr Attal said that none of these steps were set in stone and would be decided in light of “the evolution of the health situation and the risks linked to certain activities”. 

The President himself has said of France’s deconfinement plans: “Nothing is worse than uncertainty and the feeling of misery without end,” adding that his speech tomorrow would bring “clarity” and “coherence” for the coming weeks.

President Macron is due to speak at 20:00 on November 24. It will be live on most major TV stations in France as well as most major news sites. The Connexion will bring you coverage of the key points of the speech on the night.

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