France has probably put the peak of the pandemic’s third wave behind it, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday at a press conference.
“The peak of the third wave seems to be behind us,” he said. The situation is slowly improving and the number of people in intensive care wards has reached a plateau over the past few days, he said.
Castex confirmed that some regulations would be eased starting in May, and that schools for younger pupils would open as of the end of April. Hundreds of thousands of tests are to be made available to schools each week.
However, continued care is needed and people cannot stop making efforts too soon in order to protect the progress that has been made, Castex said.
The country is to retain its night-time curfew for now, at least until mid-May.
Meanwhile France is well on the way towards achieving its goal of vaccinating 20 million people against the virus by mid-May and 30 million by mid-June.
The Johnson & Johnson jab is to be used as of Saturday, according to Health Minister Olivier Veran.
France introduced strict restrictions in early April, initially for a four-weeks period. People may not go further than 10 kilometres from their homes without a valid reason and non-essential shops have largely been closed.
The night curfew has been in place for several months, and currently applies from 7 pm.
Case numbers remain high in France, a nation of 67 million, with 337 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period, according to recent figures.