France enters new phase of de-confinement

Paris, June 23 (IANS) France entered a new phase of de-confinement with more measures to ease the coronavirus lockdown regarding schools and cinemas.

All pupils in primary and secondary schools up to the age of 15 are able to return, following a gradual reopening in recent weeks. This reopening should allow schools to reconnect with students before the summer vacation that begins on July 6, said Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We cannot leave students without school from March to September,” said Blanquer on France Inter radio.

The social distancing measures in kindergartens are now abolished, while in elementary and middle schools, one meter distance between pupils is maintained but does not apply in outdoor spaces between pupils of the same class or the same group, including for sports activities.

For the reopening of cinemas, screening rooms can never be more than half full and a free seat must be left either side of each filmgoer, according to the sanitary regulation issued by the the National Federation of Cinemas.

And, cinemas must distribute hydroalcoholic gels and broadcast sanitary messages during trailers before the film. Spectators are encouraged to book place online or on dedicated terminals to limit sales at the box office.

Summer camps and outdoor camps also reopened on Monday. Team sports may resume, but stadiums will wait until July 11 to reopen, and up to a maximum of 5,000 spectators.

All stations of the Paris subway reopened on Monday. Wearing a mask is compulsory on all trains, as well as on platforms and in corridors. Universities and nightclubs remain closed until further notice.

Major museums and tourist sites in Paris are planning their reopening — the Musee d’Orsay on June 23, the Eiffel Tower on June 25 and the Louvre Museum on July 6.

–IANS

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