French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe says France won’t return to normal for a long time.
"Imagining that the situation is getting better would be a mistake," the prime minister said at his news conference on Sunday.
Philippe said that France had passed the peak of the epidemic. But the country is not going to return to normal soon because right now there is no vaccine and no treatment, he warned.
France has suspended all non-essential business until May 11.
Philippe said May 11 won’t be the end of the confinement, but a new phase. He said that measures for after May 11 will be announced in a couple of weeks and will be based on three main principles: social distancing, massive testing and isolation of people who have tested positive.
The prime minister indicated that schools won’t be reopening everywhere after May 11 and, in any case, would be operating differently. Authorities were considering options such as telling students to attend class on alternate weeks, or using bigger classrooms than usual.
The prime minister also announced that visits to nursing homes would be reauthorized as of Monday, but would be severely restricted. For example, physical contact would not be allowed, he said.