Emmanuel Macron told about 15 mayors on April 15 that he still intended to reopen museums and terraces from mid-May. Subsequently, the government plans to reopen gradually, in stages “every three weeks if all goes well”, told AFP several participants in this videoconference.
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 Elysée did not comment on these reported comments.
The President of the Republic “was very firm on the reopening of schools”, reported Marie-Claude Jarrot, DVD mayor of Montceau-les-Mines (Saône-et-Loire), to AFP.
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A date not fixed
Emmanuel Macron, who then brought together a dozen ministers by videoconference, did not, according to this mayor, on the other hand “not commit to the date of mid-May for the reopening of cultural places” but repeated that “the priority was the museums and the terraces.
The President of the Republic suggested that these reopenings could be “territorialized” according to 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.
Reopen other establishments
“The president set a course: certain cultural places and certain terraces will reopen in mid-May. Subsequently, the increase in the number of people vaccinated will allow us to reopen other gradually. We will use rational criteria, of good meaning, by distinguishing the exterior and interior places, those where one circulates or not, those where it is necessary to remove one’s 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.
Caution in deconfinement
The president “showed himself 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 by territory “.
Government spokesman Gabriel Attal confirmed to Les Echos that “certain cultural venues 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 crossed the threshold of 100,000 dead on April 15.
First get rid of the virus
“Nothing would be worse than saying in mid-May ‘we start to reopen everything’, and 15 days or three weeks later, because the virus comes back, we would have to close everything”, ruled for its part on France 2 the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire, after the meeting at the Elysee 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 spoke to the mayors of the possibility of a “2nd generation recovery plan, co-constructed with local elected officials”, according to a participant in the meeting.