France: Outdoor cafés, restaurants to reopen May 19

    The reopening of outdoor bars and restaurants will go ahead on May 19, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Monday, as the number of Covid-19 cases in intensive care eases.

    “The prospects look rather good but we must not let down the guard,” Véran told LCI television.

    The number of Covid-19 patients in French intensive care units fell below 5,000  on Sunday, for the first time since late March, according to health ministry data.

    On May 19, non-essential business will be allowed to reopen while restaurants and cafés can admit customers outdoors, with a maximum of six people per table. The measures are part of a four-step easing of restrictions announced at the end of April. 

    Foreign tourists are expected to be allowed to enter the country starting June 9 if they have a vaccination certificate or PCR test. The nightly curfew in some areas, currently starting at 7pm, is also set to be extended to 11pm.

    Starting June 30, the night curfew and most other restrictions will be lifted if infection rates are kept under control, although Covid-19 prevention protocols will remain in place in public spaces. Nightclubs will stay closed.


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