France Joins Other European Countries in Easing Lockdown Restrictions (Video)

Restaurants and bars are still closed.

France has begun the process of lifting its eight-week coronavirus lockdown.

On Monday, millions of people returned to work and shops — including hair and nail salons — began to open, albeit with fewer customers.

“Clients won’t come back on day one,” Edouard Lefebvre, head of the Champs-Elysees business district, told The Associated Press. “It takes time to get used to coming back to the Champs-Elysees, to come back to Paris.”

Now, it’s no longer necessary to obtain a “permission slip” to leave the house in France, where locals are now allowed to travel up to 60 miles away from their homes. Students are allowed to return to school, however, restaurants and bars are still closed.

travelers wearing face masks walk through Gare Montparnasse
Aurelien Meunier/Getty

Social distancing rules remain in effect as police had to instruct gatherings of people along the banks of Paris’s waterways to disperse. Gatherings of more than 10 people are still not permitted.

As the lockdown lift is gradual, the country has been split sections noted in red and green zones based on the virus’s current impact, according to The BBC. Schools, bars, and restaurants are on a quicker reopening schedule and may reopen as early as June in areas of the country in the green zone while a timeline has not yet been established for these businesses in the red zone, which includes Paris and its suburbs.

Under lockdown, the French were only permitted to leave their homes for jogs close to their homes, essential food shopping and if they were essential workers. Signs of life in the French capital were spotted, with increased traffic and people waiting outside of “nonessential” shops, like florists and hair salons.

Emergency measures have been extended several times since the country first went into lockdown on March 17. Since the outbreak, there have been more than 177,000 confirmed cases in France and at least 26,640 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.

Last week, both Spain and Italy began to phase out their lockdown restrictions, as well.

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