Covid-19: France extends health emergency for two more months

Europe © Reuters/Christian Hartmann
MAY 2, 2020 LISTEN
© Reuters/Christian Hartmann

France decided to extend a health emergency imposed to fight the new coronavirus for two more months until July 24, Health Minister Olivier Véran said on Saturday.

"We are going to have to live with the virus for a while," Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said after a cabinet meeting.

"Learning to live with the virus, that's what's at stake in the coming months."

A bill to go before parliament from Monday says the lifting this month of the emergency, which began on March 24, would "be premature" and "could see a risk of the outbreak" intensifying.

The bill also lays out the quarantine conditions for people coming to France from abroad.

The proposals cover an "information system" for those who have the virus and their entourage that would operate for up to a year.

The bill will go before the Senate on Monday and the National Assembly most probably the day after, said government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye.

France is one of the European countries most impacted by the virus and lists 24,594 deaths from 167,346 confirmed cases.

The government has announced the gradual lifting of some lockdown measures from May 11, including the re-opening of primary schools.

The bill will also cover aspects of the lifting of the lockdown, Véran said.

(with AFP)

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