As France enters its third week of deconfinement, hospital admissions, occupied hospital beds and daily death tolls continue to fall. However, authorities are urging a cautious optimism when it comes to summer holidays.
Holidays in France
French minister for ecology, Élisabeth Borne, has advised residents on France to “start reserving holidays for July and August".
But, she specifies, these holidays should be in France, rather than overseas. “Borders with space outside the Schengen Area are still highly monitored. We are absolutely not encouraging French residents to consider taking holidays abroad,” she told France Inter yesterday (Sunday May 24).
When asked if travel to nearby Spain was possible, Ms Borne said she would not advise French residents to reserve holidays there at the moment, adding that the government “will wait to see how the situation evolves".
Travel to the UK is from France is currently possible, but travellers will be subject to a 14-day quarantine from June 8.
Travel in France is currently limited to a 100km radius. This is expected to be reassessed in the next few weeks as the effects of France's first stage of deconfinement become clear.
These effects could begin to show from today (May 25), a full 14 days after deconfinement began.
Following on from a nationwide lockdown which began on March 11, France is now in its first stage of deconfinement, with a second stage planned for after June 2.
Although safety measures such as wearing masks, frequent handwashing and staying at least one metre away from others are still encouraged - the first stage has seen shops reopen, certain travel over 100km permitted, and groups of up to 10 allowed to gather.
During deconfinement, the effects of coronavirus in France appear to have improved.
The number of hospitalised coronavirus patients has gone down, reaching 1,665 on Saturday 23 May (a fall of 26 in 24 hours).
Calls to medical emergency service SOS Médecins related to Covid-19 have also gone down from 393 on May 17, to 283 on May 23.
However, the actual result of deconfinement is almost certain to be a rise in numbers of Covid-19 infections in France, as contact between people increases.
Daniel Lévy-Bruhl, head of the respiratory infections unit at medical authority Santé Publique France, told AFP: “All we can say is that today, we are not on high alert, but it’s too soon to read into this that everything’s going to be okay."
He added: “There is a delay between what we are measuring today and what it corresponds to. What we are measuring today are still the benefits of confinement."
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