Relief as France eases restrictions

France has lifted further restrictions in accordance with its phased reopening plan for the easing of anti-Covid lockdown measures, which began on May 3. The outdoor areas of restaurants and cafes, as well as shops and cultural institutions were allowed to reopen on Wednesday. The country's 7-day incidence rate is currently at 149 (as of 20 May). Commentators are encouraged.

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Le Figaro (FR) /

Hats off to bar and restaurant owners

Alexandre Ricard, CEO of the distiller Pernod Ricard, praises restaurant and café owners:

“They are the most important element of this moment we are celebrating. One can't help but be moved by these establishments that have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. After a year in which their turnover dropped dramatically, many of them will not recover from this long period of inactivity. I am also thinking of the dramatic uncertainty that nightclubs still find themselves in. Behind the counter of every café, bar and restaurant, you will find women and men who have overcome many difficulties and shown great ingenuity in order to survive.”

Les Echos (FR) /

Cause for cautious optimism

The situation is better than many experts predicted when the easing of restrictions was first announced, Les Echos writes:

“Of course it makes sense to remain cautious about the impact of lifting the health protection measures ... But one thing is certain: the relaxations will take place in a context that is far better than what many doctors and epidemiologists feared just a month ago. And vaccinations will intensify according to the schedule. This is cause for cautious optimism. And, in hindsight, for a little more reserve in the forecasts made by some.”