France to enter 4-month transition after July 10

The French government has presented a draft bill on the end of the state of health emergency on July 10, which will be followed by a transitional period of four months during which restrictions remain possible.

Given the improvement in health conditions, “it was not justified to extend the state of health emergency” installed since March 24 and extended already till July 10, Xinhua news agency quoted government spokesperson Sibeth Ndiaye as saying on Wednesday.

As the virus continues to circulate, the government wants to see the country “emerge from the state of emergency with a transitional period of four months”, she added.

After July 10, “the Prime Minister will retain the possibility of regulating movement and access to means of transport, establishments open to the public, such as nightclubs, and to decide on the gauges for rallies on public roads”, the spokesperson further said.

France, one of the European countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, entered a state of health emergency on March 24.

Under the French law, a state of health emergency empowers the government to rule by decree without parliamentary approval to take special measures, such as to restrict people’s freedom of movement and to requisition certain goods and services in order to fight against a health disaster.

As of Thursday, France recorded 192,068 COVID-19 cases, with 29,322 deaths, while the number of people in intensive care fell below 1,000 for the first time since mid-March.