France Extends Coronavirus Lockdown Measures to May As Italy, Spain Ease Restrictions (Video)
France and Italy have extended their lockdowns into May, however Italy is allowing some businesses to reopen.
France is extending its lockdown restrictions until the beginning of May, as Italy and Spain are slowly starting a return to life before quarantine.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday that France's lockdown procedures will be in place until May 11 — nearly a month later than originally projected — according to France24.
"I fully understand the effort I'm asking from you," Macron said. "When will we be able to return to a normal life? I would love to be able to answer you. But to be frank, I have to humbly tell you we don't have definitive answers."
There are at least 137,000 confirmed cases of the virus in France and nearly 15,000 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's real-time map.
Schools will open on May 11 while restaurants will be closed for longer. Only vulnerable people are mandated to stay inside. Tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower the Louvre are still closed.
Italy has reported drops in their death rate as well as the number of people being hospitalized or admitted to intensive care, according to The New York Times, — a hopeful development that has lead to a slight lift in their strict lockdown restrictions.
Italy was due to end its lockdown on April 3 but it has been extended to May 3. However, businesses like bookshops and stores that sell children's clothes would be allowed to reopen.
“The trend is now trustworthy,” Luca Richeldi, a pulmonologist who is on the scientific committee that is advising the government, said at a news conference, per The New York Times. “We can say that the measures that were adopted and extended are having an impact on this virus.”
Regions in northern Italy, like Lombardy, where the virus first broke out are keeping their lockdown policies in place for longer, The BBC reported.
There are at least 159,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Italy and over 20,000 people have died.
In Spain — which has the highest number of cases in Europe now, at over 172,000 — people are slowly being allowed to return to work to help stimulate the economy, according to The BBC. Businesses whose employees cannot work remotely are allowed to return to work.
Masks will be distributed to people who take public transportation.
Reuters reported that shops and bars will stay closed until April 26.
The ease in restrictions comes after, "Spain recorded its smallest proportional daily rise in the number of deaths and new infections since early March," Reuters noted.
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