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France Expands Lockdown Restrictions Across Country Until May 2; Cultural venues could start reopening in mid-May – Deadline

As France grapples with an increase in cases of Covid variants, the country will enter a third national lockdown from April 3, President Emmanuel Macron announced in a televised speech tonight. This is currently expected to last until May 2.

Some 19 departments (similar to counties) were already under a third lockdown that began on March 20. These areas included Paris and its surroundings as well as the Alpes-Maritimes which is home to Cannes.

The Cannes Film Festival is currently planning a physical event from July 6 to 17. In today’s announcement, Macron said that from mid-May to early summer, the government plans to set a timeline and guidelines for a gradual reopening, including for events, meaning that this could be the next indication of whether Cannes goes as planned.

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Cinemas in France have been closed since the end of October 2020 and will remain so for at least the next few weeks. Macron noted that he would soon present a program for the reopening of “some” cultural venues with a schedule that could start in mid-May, although he did not say if that would include cinemas.

The upcoming lockdown will not be as strict as the first lockdown which lasted from March 17 to May 11, 2020. A national 7 p.m. curfew – which has been in effect since December 15 – will remain, non-essential businesses will be closed , work – home orders are in place, interregional travel will be limited and people are allowed to travel within 10 kilometers of their homes.

Today’s news comes as France has seen the slow rollout of Covid vaccinations and the country is currently one of the hardest hit in Europe. As of Tuesday, there were nearly 4.6 million confirmed cases, an increase of more than 30,700 from the previous day. There were over 95,000 deaths.

The number of people who received their first dose of the vaccine is just over 8 million. Last week, the Haute Autorité de Santé said the Health Ministry had asked it to recommend allowing dentists and veterinarians to administer the vaccine, which would add about 250,000 healthcare professionals to those authorized to do so. injections. The government’s current goal is to vaccinate 30 million people, or just under half of the population by the summer.

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