France to allow outdoor dining and reopen cultural venues from May 19

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France will start relaxing its nightly curfew and allow cafés, bars and restaurants to offer outdoor service starting May 19, regional newspapers reported on Thursday, as President Emmanuel Macron charts a way out of the country’s third Covid-19 lockdown.

The number of COVID-19 patients in French hospitals fell for the third consecutive day, with the overall number down by 424 to 29,487 and the number of patients in intensive care wards down by 75 to 5,804.

The health ministry also reported 306 new coronavirus deaths in hospitals on Thursday, down from 315 on Wednesday.

On May 19, non-essential business will be allowed to reopen and the nightly curfew will be pushed back to 9pm local time. Restaurants and cafés will be able to welcome customers outdoors, with a maximum of six people per table. Museums, theatres, cinemas and sport facilities will also reopen, with a limit of 800 people indoors and 1,000 outdoors. Private gatherings of more than 10 people remain banned and working from home as much as possible is encouraged.

Foreign tourists will once more be able to enter the country starting on June 9 if they have a certificate of vaccination or a PCR test. The nightly curfew will be extended to 11pm.

Beginning on June 30, the nighttime curfew and most other restrictions would be lifted although Covid-19 prevention protocols would remain in place in public spaces. Nightclubs will remain closed.

France 24 / Reuters

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