Covid: Macron cautiously maintains the target of a reopening from mid-May

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Emmanuel Macron told about fifteen mayors on Thursday evening that he still intended to reopen museums and terraces from mid-May, before continuing a gradual reopening, in stages “every three weeks if all goes well”, several participants in this videoconference told AFP.

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The Head of State also confirmed that schools would reopen on the scheduled dates (April 26 for schools and May 3 for colleges and high schools), dates according to him “set in stone,” said a mayor. The Élysée did not comment on these reported comments.

The Head of State “was very firm on the reopening of schools,” Marie-Claude Jarrot, DVD mayor of Montceau-les-Mines (Saône-et-Loire), told AFP.

Emmanuel Macron, who then brought together a dozen ministers by videoconference, did not, according to her, “not commit to the date of mid-May for the reopening of cultural places” but repeated that “the priority was museums and terraces ”.

The President of the Republic suggested that these reopenings could be “territorialized” depending on the health situations in the different regions, “not to replay the deconfinement of last May”, according to several mayors.

No date has been given precisely for the reopening of the restaurants, which would take place as a second step.

The president “was convinced by his strategy but cautious on deconfinement”, told AFP the DVD mayor of Cognac (Charente) Morgan Berger, confirming the track of a “reopening which would be gradual, by phases of two-three weeks “and” maybe per territory “

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal confirmed to Les Echos that “certain cultural places and certain terraces will reopen in mid-May”. “This is the deadline on which we are working,” he repeated, hoping for a drop in the pressure on the hospital “perhaps as early as next week”, while France has passed the milestone of 100,000 dead Thursday.

“The president set a course: certain cultural venues and certain terraces will reopen in mid-May. Subsequently, the increase in the number of people vaccinated will allow us to reopen them gradually. We will use rational, common sense criteria, distinguishing between outdoor and indoor places, those where you walk or not, those where it is necessary to remove your mask, ”he detailed.

As for schools, “for some, the return to class could be done in half-groups” with more saliva tests in schools in the regions most affected by the epidemic, continued Gabriel Attal. Self-tests may also be offered there.

“Nothing would be worse than to say in mid-May + we start to reopen everything +, and 15 days or three weeks later, because the virus returns, we would have to close everything”, judged for its part on France 2 the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire, after the meeting at the Élysée Palace.

“We will do everything possible first to get rid of the virus, and then to initiate in mid-May the gradual reopening of a number of businesses,” he explained, without giving details. protocols for reopening establishments open to the public, which have been negotiated for several weeks with professional organizations.

The Head of State also mentioned to the mayors the possibility of a “2nd generation recovery plan, co-constructed with local elected officials”, according to a participant in the meeting.