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As it happened: Millions emerge from eight-week Covid-19 lockdown in France

A woman walks down Paris's Champs-Elysèes boulevard as shops reopened for the first time in eight weeks as France lifted its nationwide Covid-19 lockdown on May 11.
A woman walks down Paris's Champs-Elysèes boulevard as shops reopened for the first time in eight weeks as France lifted its nationwide Covid-19 lockdown on May 11. AFP - ERIC PIERMONT

Millions of French people cautiously emerged on Monday from eight weeks of one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns aimed at stamping out the spread of Covid-19. Read our live blog to see how the easing of restrictions unfolded throughout the country.

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  • France cautiously emerged from one of Europe's strictest coronavirus lockdowns on Monday, allowing non-essential shops, factories and other businesses to reopen for the first time in eight weeks.
  • Schools in France will be re-opened in phases and people can now leave home without government paperwork,  although documentation is still needed for rush-hour travel around Paris.
  • Although some trains and stations in the wider Paris region have been worryingly crowded, France's first day post-lockdown is "going as it should", the country's transport secretary, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said.
  • The government has called for caution to avoid a sudden spike in cases amid the lifting of restrictions.
  • France on Monday reported 263 new deaths from Covid-19 against 70 the day before.  However, Monday's figures often tend to register a spike after the weekend lull.
  • More than 26,000 people have died from Covid-19 in France, the world's fifth highest official death toll. The rate of infection has been steadily declining since early April.
  • France’s lifting of its lockdown comes amid worries over fresh coronavirus cases in some countries that have won praise for their handling of the pandemic, such as South Korea and Germany.
  • Senior civil servant Jean Castex, who is advising the government on plans for lifting the lockdown, says the government must prepare to reimpose strict measures in the case of a second wave.

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