Coronavirus: France gets 'green, yellow and red zones' to help guide lockdown easing

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Measures could be lifted as soon as 11 May

World | The Independent

France has been split into red, orange and green zones to show how the lockdown may be relaxed across the country.

The health minister has revealed a map showing the worst-affected areas by coronavirus by measuring the circulation of Covid-19 and the burden on intensive care units in different regions.

It will serve as a reference when the country eases confinement measures after 11 May.

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The government has said "green zones" will be able to lift some restrictions more rapidly than "red zones", which currently includes the whole of the Paris region and northeast France. 

"Orange zones" could change to either colour by the time lockdown measures start being lifted, Olivier Veran, the health minister, said.

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The map will be finalised next week, he added.

Announcing the exit strategy for France's lockdown, the prime minister said the country would be divided up into colours to determine how measures would be relaxed differently across the country, according to French media.

France has been in lockdown for more than a month as it tackles it coronavirus outbreak, which has seen more than 168,900 people infected with the virus as of Friday.

Edouard Philippe laid out plans to ease restrictions earlier this week, saying primary schools, non-essential shops, libraries and small museums could start reopening from 11 May.

All retailers – except bars, restaurants, cafes and stores in shopping centres - could welcome customers again in two weeks’ time under the exit strategy.

People will also be allowed to leave their homes as normal from 11 May, although travel between regions would be restricted to work or family reasons.

Under current rules, anyone going outside must carry a certificate explaining why, for example, to get food or medicine.

Mr Philippe said France would only begin emerging from the lockdown next month if it was safe to do so.

“If the indicators are not right, we will not unwind the lockdown on 11 May, or we will do it more strictly,” the PM said.

France has been one of the worst-hit countries in the world by the Covid-19 pandemic with a death toll of around 24,000 on Friday.

  • Coronavirus: France gets 'green, yellow and red zones' to help guide lockdown easing  photo

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