France began to loosen its strict lockdown from May 11th, but encouraging data on the virus circulation means that from June 2nd the country moves to the next phase of the plan.
Phase 2 lasts from June 2nd to June 22nd and returns life to a state where, according to the Prime Minister Edouard Philippe “freedom will, finally, be the rule and restriction the exception.”
As with all stages of France's lockdown plan, this comes with the caveat that restrictions can be reimposed if the health situation worsens. Local authorities also have the power to impose extra restrictions in their area if they are concerned over health risks.
So what changes from Tuesday?
Green and orange zones
Map: Santé Publique France
As before, France is divided into two zones, but on the revised map the vast majority of the country is coloured green – showing a low circulation of the virus.
The exception to this is the greater Paris Île-de-France region, which is coloured orange to show higher levels of the virus, along with the overseas départements of French Guiana and Mayotte. Orange zones have more restrictions than green zones.
Bars, cafés and restaurants
These can reopen from Tuesday, June 2nd, having been closed by government order since March 15th.
There are a lot of hygiene restrictions for owners to abide by, including spaces of at least 1m between tables, and in orange zones – including Paris – only outdoor terraces can reopen.
The 100km rule
This rule is scrapped and people can now travel freely around France for any reason, without the need for a permission form.
The gradual reopening of schools is accelerated, with all infant, primary and secondary schools able to open from June 2nd. Maximum class sizes remain, however, so many pupils will only be attending for part of the week.
High schools (lycées) will only reopen in the green zones and universities will continue with online teaching.
Parks, beaches and gardens
These have now all reopened, with Paris reopening parks over the holiday weekend. Local authorities will make the decision on whether to make masks compulsory in parks, beaches and gardens.
#COVID19 | Retrouvez le détail des mesures concernant la vie sociale et les activités dans le cadre de la 2e étape du plan de #déconfinement, présentée par @EPhilippePM.
Plus d'informations sur : https://t.co/4ifZ6SNhSS pic.twitter.com/3qasRnjFY5
— Gouvernement (@gouvernementFR) May 31, 2020
Gyms and swimming pools
All gyms can reopen in green zones as of June 2nd and in orange zones as of June 22nd. The same goes for swimming pools.
Cinemas, theatres and museums
Theatres and museums can begin to reopen from June 2nd in green zones, while orange zones must wait until June 22nd.
Cinemas can reopen in the whole country as of June 22nd.
Wearing a mask will be mandatory in all these spaces.
Campsites can reopen on June 2nd in the green zones and June 22nd in orange zones.
What doesn't change
While life in general will look a lot freer, there are still restrictions in place.
- Those who can work from home are asked to continue to do so
- Masks remain compulsory on public transport and shops can require their customers to wear masks
- Gatherings in a public place are still limited to a maximum of 10, although there is no restriction on gatherings in private residences
- Contacts sports remain banned and professional sports such as rugby and football are not expected to restart before September
- Nightclubs and music venues remain closed
- The rules on international travel remain in place, with entry into France heavily restricted. This is not expected to change before June 15th.