İrem UZUN -TDO- French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday announced he was extending a virtual lockdown to curb the coronavirus outbreak until May 11, adding that “progress had been made but the battle not yet won”. The president's fourth live television address during the coronavirus outbreak began at 20.00 and lasted for 25 minutes.
Acknowledging his country had not been sufficiently prepared early on to face the challenges posed by the outbreak of the new coronavirus, Macron said the unprecedented restrictions put in place were showing results. "The epidemic is starting to slow down. The results are there," Macron said in a televised address to the nation. "Thanks to your efforts, everyday we have made progress," he said. However, President added that the strict confinement must continue until Monday, May 11th. He warned that easing the lockdown then "would only be possible if we continue to be good citizens, responsible and respect the rules, and if the spread of the virus has indeed continued to slow," he said. “We are living in a difficult moment, but thanks to our joint effort, we are progressing," said Macron adding that the epidemic was "beginning to steady" but wasn't yet under control. France has been subject to a strict nationwide lockdown since midday March 17th. The latest figures show the virus has killed 14,393 people in France, including more than 9,000 in hospital.
During the address, Macron announced latest updates on the key issues: From Monday, May 11 nurseries, primary and high schools will gradually reopen, but higher education will start up again not before the summer. Restaurants, cafés, hotels, cinemas and other leisure activities will remain closed after May 11, and there will be no summer festivals before mid-July. From May 11, France will be able to test anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 and everyone should be able to get hold of a mask for certain situations such as using public transport, or in the most exposed professions.