Covid19 – France eases lockdown
Bars, shops and cultural spaces across France are set to reopen as the country starts lifting restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus. As of Wednesday, groups of up to six people will be allowed to eat together at outdoor restaurant terraces.
France’s vaccination campaign has also been accelerating in recent weeks, with more than 20 million people now having received at least one dose, and almost nine million having received both.
Cinemas can open at up to 35-percent capacity from Wednesday, with new films jostling for space on the big screen alongside autumn releases that had their runs cut short. Museums, theatres, zoos, libraries and non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen at partial capacity.
France has started offering free COVID-19 PCR tests for newcomers, as the country has begun lifting restrictions and decided to welcome tourists back this summer. Furthermore, the European parliament is working to align travelling rules while asking the Member States to provide travellers with PCR tests for free or purchase them on a reasonable amount.
Since January 2021, vaccine hesitancy seems to slowly but steadily falling in France. But people remain nervous. Many are rejecting the AstraZeneca vaccine and would rather opt for the Pfizer shots. “Just because there are supply problems does not mean we should disregard vaccine refusal. Not enough people are willing to receive an AstraZeneca injection,” says Jeremy Ward, a sociologist at the Inserm.