The French government wants all shops — except bars, cafes and restaurants — to be able to reopen once a nationwide lockdown ends next month.
“We want all retailers to be able to open on May 11 in the same way out of fairness,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France Info radio on Thursday. “I would only set aside restaurants, bars and cafes that will need special treatment because they are a place of mixing.”
Le Maire noted that protocols would have to be implemented to protect both workers and customers. It’s still unclear whether the reopening would be feasible nationwide or only by region, he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced last week that the country’s lockdown, which was put in place on March 17 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, will be extended until May 11 and gradually lifted thereon.
France has recorded more than 157,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 and over 21,000 deaths, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.