French and Riviera News Friday 8th May 2020

Progressive lifting of lockdown - French Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe has confirmed that a progressive lifting of lockdown in France will take place from Monday May 11th. He warned that the "progressive deconfinement should not be a reason to be less vigilant”.

The government also confirmed that while a majority of regions have been classified as green and will therefore be able to begin lifting measures four regions, including the Ile de France remain classified red where the lifting of lockdown will be much slower.

The Var and the Alpes-Maritimes are classified green so what does this mean for our region?

Firstly, there is no compulsory confinement for those considered to be “vulnerable”, but they are advised to stick as much as possible to rules in place. Teleworking is still strongly recommended when possible and the staggering of employees going to and from work is advised to avoid crowded offices as well as public transport.

France’s health Minister confirmed that France "is ready to carry out large scale testing" for people with symptoms as well as those with whom they have been in contact. Masks are compulsory on public transport from 11 years and up.

For the 100km limit as the crow flies, a new certificate will be made available for those needing to go further due to a valid work or family reason.

While "the borders remain closed" the "free movement of cross-border workers remains possible".

Gatherings are limited to 10 people. This will be reexamined on June 2nd.

The opening of beaches and lakes will depend on decision made by prefects at the request of the mayors. Similar for shopping centers of more than 40,000 square meters, which will be allowed to reopen in agreement with the prefect.

400,000 companies are expected to reopen from Monday  with the exception of cafes, bars and restaurants.The Prime Minister added that after a three-week period in a region classified as green, the health situation would be reevaluated permitting a possible reopening of secondary schools, cafes bars and restaurants within the framework of sanitary measures in place.

Social charges for employers from March April and May will be abolished for all those which have been forced to close.

A concrete strategy report for the end of lockdown has been validated by the Head of State and will be published in the coming days.

Sail away - The maritime prefect of the Mediterranean has announced plans to reopen ports from Monday May 11th for boating and nautical leisure activities.

While still respecting the 100km limit, pleasure vessels will be able to set sail no more than 54 nautical miles from port and ca