French media: Macron to announce easing lockdown

French media say President is expected to announce the easing of lockdown rules when he delivers a televised speech on Tuesday night.

France has been under nationwide lockdown since October 30 due to a surge in coronavirus infections. The lockdown will be in effect through December 1.

Daily caseloads topped 60,000 in early November. However, the tally recently fell below 20,000 for two straight days.

French media say Macron is due to announce a three-step plan to gradually ease stay-at-home restrictions.

Media reports say that from December 1, some shops will be allowed to reopen with stricter health protocols in place.

Media also say that theaters, cinemas and religious facilities could be allowed to reopen, although bars and restaurants will most likely continue to face restrictions.

The French government has ordered a one-week postponement of Black Friday discount sales from November 27. The reopening of stores ahead of the Christmas season could ease the damage on the retail sector.

However, the French medical system remains under severe strain. More than 4,000 patients are said to be receiving treatment in intensive care units.

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