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Macron unveils France’s 4-step lockdown exit plan, including ‘emergency brake’ for regions with Covid-19 spikes — RT World News

President Emmanuel Macron has outlined his four-stage strategy to ease France’s third national Covid-19 lockdown, with restaurants, bars, and cafes set to open in three weeks’ time.

Under the plans, confirmed by Macron to several French regional media outlets on Wednesday, the country’s public health measures to contain the virus will be eased nationally, rather than regionally.

However, the government will also have an “emergency brake” at its disposal to impose health curbs in departments – or territories – where the virus incidence rate increases above 400 cases per 100,000 people or suddenly spikes, Macron told Ouest-France.

Eight French departments currently have rates of more than 400 cases per 100,000 people, while the national rate for the last week is 300 cases per 100,000.

The full details of France’s route out of lockdown are yet to be confirmed publicly by, Macron but many elements have already been published by the media.

From May 3 the public will no longer have to carry travel certificates, and the 10-kilometer distance rule will be scrapped, according to reports on the plans.

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Many secondary school pupils will also return to the classroom for face-to-face teaching on Monday.

Outdoor hospitality will open up again on May 19 for groups of up to six people, while curfews – which currently start at 7pm – will be pushed back to the later time of 9pm. Non-essential retailers will also reopen in this stage, as well as cultural facilities such as theaters and museums.

June 9 will see the curfew relaxed further to begin at 11pm, as well as the return of indoor hospitality and public events with crowds of up to 5,000 people. This stage will also see the launch of the so-called ‘health pass’, which will allow people to prove they have been vaccinated or have tested negative for the virus.

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Foreign tourists will need this pass to enter France, and it will also be necessary for attending sports matches and concerts.

The final stage of easing on June 30 will reportedly see curfews ended and further restrictions on crowds lifted.

Macron told Ouest-France that the health pass will not segregate the vaccinated and unvaccinated and that it should not be compulsory to access places like restaurants and theaters.

The president was also pressed on his government’s record in the pandemic and whether the epidemiological conditions are right for leaving lockdown. “We have been enlightened by science and we have chosen to put people above all else,” he said in response.

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