In the press

Is France's lifting of lockdown stoking social discrimination?


IN THE PAPERS, Tuesday May 12: We bring you reactions from the Chinese press after fears of a new cluster emerge in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus. Here in France, Libération reacts critically to the first day of lockdown easing. There's more confusion in the British papers over British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's exit strategy for ending the lockdown there. Finally in Kenya, a new coronavirus-inspired hairstyle among young girls is also raising awareness about the virus.


Shanghai's Disneyland has reopened its doors, as you see on the front page of the Shanghai Daily, with severe restrictions. It comes amid fears of a new cluster group in Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, just one month after the city ended its lockdown. But there's no cause for concern in the Chinese papers. The China Daily’s editors say it's a wake-up call that the country cannot relax its vigilance. Nonetheless, the paper hails the government’s prompt reaction to these new cases and its "steep learning curve".

"Social fracture" - that’s how Libération describes France’s first day of the end of the lockdown on Monday. The paper says the gradual reopening of the country was two-speed and socially discriminating, with those who earn less forced to take the metro and risk their health to go to work while the more privileged continue to work from home. 

There's more confusion, it appears, in the British papers after Boris Johnson tried to clarify his roadmap for easing the lockdown, which he unveiled on Sunday. The government has said Britons will be able to see their parents, but while maintaining the two-metre distance and so long as they’re outside. They will also be able to work, but no guidelines have been given for reducing peak-hour traffic or ensuring social distancing at work. The street paper Metro slams the "farcical loopholes" in the government’s exit strategy. 

Finally, a colourful coronavirus-inspired hairstyle has made a comeback among young girls in hair salons in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. The antennae-like braids resemble the spikes of the virus. It’s not just a hairstyle though. The Guardian says it's also helping to raise awareness about prevention and it has the added benefit of being far cheaper than most hairstyles!

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