France’s strict 54-day coronavirus lockdown was officially over on Monday, however many restrictions were due to remain in place.
French people will now be able to leave their homes without carrying a signed declaration as to why they are on the streets and most shops and other workplaces are set to reopen.
However, in a country with one of Europe’s highest COVID-19 death tolls, 26,380 as of Sunday, authorities are anxious to keep social mingling to a minimum for the moment.
“Anyone who can continue to work from home should still do so.
“Cafes and restaurants will remain shuttered for the moment,” the government said.
The government also said primary schools would reopen gradually starting this week, with middle schools reopening the week after only in areas less affected by COVID-19.
It said signed declarations would still be required for anyone taking public transport at peak hours in the greater Paris region, with usage reserved for commuters and those on essential trips.
The government said masks would be required on public transport nationwide, and travel restrictions remained between mainland France, the Mediterranean island of Corsica, and overseas territories.
It said in Paris and north-eastern France, categorised as “red zones” with a higher rate of COVID-19 infections or hospitalisations, public parks would remain closed.