Macrons plan to ease lockdown measures lacks clarity, say critics

PARIS — French opposition politicians and unions are demanding more detail about how Emmanuel Macron intends to ease his country out of lockdown.

The French president on Monday extended measures to contain the spread of coronavirus until May 11, but also said some restrictions could be lifted after that date, including the reopening of schools.

“On May 11, we want to let as many people return to work as possible, in order to restart manufacturing, our retail sector and our services industry,” said Macron, adding that a more detailed exit plan from lockdown would come by the end of April.

French conservatives welcomed his televised speech, saying it acknowledged authorities hadnt handled the crucial issues of masks and other protective gear as well as they could have.

“Weve had a rare and much welcome mea culpa from the head of state.” said Bruno Retailleau, head of the conservative Les Républicains (LR) in the Senate.

“You can see how far behind we are on masks, equipment and testing … Now we need to get a head start on restarting the economy, sector by sector, sector by sector,” wrote LRs party chairman Christian Jacob on Twitter.

Lack of clarity

Health care workers and teachers, however, say Macron hasnt provided enough clarity over how to maintain social distancing in schools and workplaces after May 11.

Bertrand Guidet, head of the intensive care at Saint-Antoine Hospital in Paris, warned his team would not have the capacity to handle a “second wave” of severe cases, should they surface following an early end to lockdown.

“The gradual reopening of nursery, primary and high schools on May 11 entails unnecessary risks,” said Jean-Paul Hamon, president of the Federation of Doctors of France, to France Info.

“We dont understand what [Macron] means by gradually,'” Francette Popineau, who heads up teachers union SNUIPP-FSU, told Europe 1 radio. “We know that schools are places where the virus can sprRead More – Source

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