French PM to Present Lockdown Exit Plan to Deputies on Tuesday


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French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has announced on Twitter that he will present the government’s post-lockdown plan to the National Assembly on Tuesday.

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France’s strict anti-coronavirus lockdown has been in place since March 17.

President Emmanuel Macron has said the measures will be gradually lifted starting on May 11.

Philippe wrote that the “national deconfinement strategy” would be based around six themes: “health (masks, tests, isolation…), school, work, shops, transport, and gatherings.”

“Since the beginning of the crisis, I have always been careful to respect Parliamentary control: the deconfinement strategy will be announced in the National Assembly,” he wrote.

“My declaration will be subject to a debate and then vote by deputies,” he added.

Macron’s announcement of the May 11 date two weeks ago has led to feverish speculation in France about what might or might not change.

So far the only clear announcements have been that schools will begin to reopen then, probably on a voluntary basis, while cafes and restaurants will have to remain shut until at least late May and major gatherings will remain banned until at least mid-July.

Philippe said that after the vote in the National Assembly – where Macron’s centrist bloc has a large majority – the strategy would be presented to the social partners and bodies representing local mayors.

That would allow for “a period of joint construction of the national plan and the forms it will take locally,” he added.

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