French and Riviera News Wednesday 29th April 2020

Coronavirus cases - Five people died from Covid-19 in the Alpes Maritimes and the Var on Tuesday April 28th. Both departments have recorded in total 391 deaths from coronavirus since the start of the epidemic.

On Tuesday, there were 6 fewer people hospitalized for Covid-19 in the Alpes Maritimes this marks the largest drop since April 22nd. An additional person was admitted to intensive care, bringing the number of patients in "intensive care" to 49.

In total, 279 people are still hospitalized in the Var with 39 still in intensive care.

On a national level in France the coronavirus has caused 367 new deaths in 24 hours, bringing the total to 23,660 since March 1st. However, there were 221 fewer patients admitted to intensive care on Tuesday April 28, announced the DGS.

Progressive end to the lockdown in France - French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has presented his plan to the National Assembly to progressively end the lockdown in France.

He unveiled six key areas from May 11th concerning; schools, shops, businesses, masks, isolation tests for patients and gatherings, adding that "we will have to live with the virus". He also insisted that the “progressive” end could only happen on the 11th if there were no negative indicators on the virus suggesting otherwise.

Wearing a mask will be imposed in "certain situations". The Prime Minister confirmed that there will be enough masks in the country to meet the needs from May 11th. Companies are required to equip their employees with masks, and pharmacies and supermarkets will be invited to sell disposable or washable ones.

Testing - Testing for coronavirus will be massively stepped up and reimbursed at 100%". And when a person "has tested positive", they are to provide all possible contact cases and self-isolate. This isolation may take place at home or in a hotel. It will be up to the prefect of each region to define the support plans for people in self-isolation.

Schools - For schools, there will be a gradual reopening of nursery and primary schools from May 11th on a voluntary basis. Secondly, from May 18th, but only in the departments where the virus circulation is very weak, the opening of secondary education will begin in colleges, starting with the 1st and 2nd year (6eme and 5eme). A decision will be taken at the end of May as to whether lycées can reopen.

Classes will start under strict sanitary conditions: no more than 15 students per class. All teachers and supervisors will receive masks. Wearing masks is not recommended in elementary school. On the other hand, college students will be provided with masks.

Nurseries and crèches wi