France Relaxes COVID-19 Restrictions, Begins First Phase Of Easing Lockdown Measures

France on Saturday began the first phase of relaxing the COVID-19 curbs enforced earlier last month after the second wave of the disease hit the country. Stores and hairdresser salons have been allowed to reopen in France after weeks of shut down enforced as part of measures introduced to block the spread of the virus. The second phase of relaxing the curbs is expected to come into effect from December 15. 

Read: After Congratulating Biden, France’s Macron Sees Trump Envoy

Store and beauty salons opened in the first phase must have at least eight square metres of space per person, while hairdressers are allowed to take only those customers with prior appointments. French President on Saturday said that the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic has been brought under control, but warned people to not let their guards down and follow all health and safety protocols. Self-isolation measure in the country still remains in place, with citizens only allowed to travel 20 kilometres from home. 

Read: France Mulls Ban On Police Images, Alarming Rights Defenders

France’s second wave

The first of the three-phase reopening has been introduced after new COVID-19 cases started to drop significantly. France had enforced the curbs on October 30 fearing a shortage of beds in the hospitals and an overwhelming of medical professionals due to rising infections. The number of daily cases in France has been exponentially rising since August, but it touched a new height starting October as the country began reporting more than 10,000 cases every day. 

Read: Locked-down France Inches Toward ‘Black Friday’ Postponement

On November 7, France reported its highest single tally of new COVID cases with more than 86,000 people testing positive for the disease. So far, over 2.2 million cases have been confirmed in the European country and more than 51,900 people have died, one of the highest not just among its peers in the region but in the world.

Read: France’s President Macron Issues ‘republican Values’ Ultimatum To Religious Leaders

(Image Credit: AP/File)

Read original article here.