WORLD / EUROPE
France mulls regional easing of COVID-19 restrictions: health minister
Published: Apr 21, 2021 08:51 AM
A woman walks at a park in Paris, France, on April 15, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)

A woman walks at a park in Paris, France, on April 15, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)


 
People picnic and enjoy the sunshine at the Monceau Park in Paris, France, March 31, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)

People picnic and enjoy the sunshine at the Monceau Park in Paris, France, March 31, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)


 
The French government will ease COVID-19 restrictions according to "the epidemic situation of each territory," Health Minister Olivier Veran said Tuesday.

In an interview with the regional newspaper Le Telegramme, Veran said the government is favoring a region-by-region approach. "When we consider unwinding a certain number of restrictions, we must look at the epidemic situation in each territory, the hospital situation and the level of hospital saturation in France."

France will start a gradual reopening by mid-May, the minister said, citing signs of "a decrease in the epidemic," with the country's average daily COVID-19 infections now at 33,000 compared with over 40,000 in late March.

Veran, however, warned that the virus is still circulating at a high level. "We must continue our efforts," he said.

On Monday, the coronavirus claimed 447 lives in France, pushing the death toll to 101,180 since the start of the pandemic. Currently, 31,214 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, 5,970 of them in intensive care units, up by 425 and 77 respectively in one day.
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