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Paris Lock Down - Anticipating Deconfinement

Thursday, April 30th, 2020

Paris Lock Down - Anticipating Deconfinement

Cover image: Tom and Monique wearing makeshift coffee filter masks
Image by Entrée to Black Paris

France has completed six weeks of confinement and the Assemblée Nationale (similar to the U.S. House of Representatives) has voted to accept a plan to gradually reopen the country.

Assemblée Nationale with flagsAssemblée Nationale
© Discover Paris!

The plan is based on three principles: Protect - Test - Isolate.

As of May 11, France intends to perform 700,000 tests for COVID-19 per week at no charge to the general public.  Persons with symptoms of corona virus infection will be tested first.  The family and close contacts of those testing positive will also be tested, whether or not they are symptomatic.  Those who are ill and those who have close contact with the ill will be quarantined for 14 days, either at home or in hotels designated for this purpose.

If the number of cases continues to decrease as predicted, the first phase of de-confinement will unfold between May 11 and June 2.  People will be able to return to work, but public gatherings will be limited to a maximum of ten persons.  Residents will only be required to carry a signed declaration specifying the purpose of their outing if they need to go more than 100 km (~62 miles) from home.

If spread of the virus is successfully curtailed, a second, three-week phase of de-confinement will begin in June.

In Paris and the surrounding area, public transportation will be restored to 70% of normal on May 11.   Anyone using the system will be required to wear a mask.  The same will be true for those taking taxis or chauffeured vehicles where there is no plexiglass installed to separate driver and passengers.

Metro Concorde_Line 12Concorde Metro Station - Line 12
© Discover Paris!

Free masks will be made available to all public transportation passengers.

Educators will be required to wear masks at schools.  Shopkeepers may require that persons entering their stores wear a mask.  Businesses that cannot provide a work environment that allows social distancing will be required to furnish masks for their employees.

Nursery schools, kindergartens and elementary schools will reopen on May 11 and middle schools will reopen on May 18.  This will only be allowed in areas where viral transmission is low.

If containment of the pandemic continues to progress, the opening of high schools, restaurants, cafés, bars, beaches, and houses of worship will be considered for June 2.

Café SoufflotCafé Le Soufflot
© Entrée to Black Paris

Large public gatherings will not be allowed before September 2020.

While waiting for the city to re-emerge and find its way to a "new normal," residents can still find evidence of spring in private and public gardens.

Irises at the Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieure
© Entrée to Black Paris

Late daffodils at the Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieure
© Entrée to Black Paris

And the appearance of fraisiers in pastry shops is another sure sign of spring!

Fraisiers_Carl MarlettiFraisiers by Carl Marletti
© Entrée to Black Paris

Continue to stay safe, sage, and sane!