President Macron will address the French people at 20:00 on Monday, April 13, on the renewal of lockdown. He is expected to announce that the present regime will stay in force until April 30, sources close to the President told the French press on Wednesday.

President Macron will emphasise that the coronavirus crisis is not yet over, but at the same time he wants to put forward an exact date, a specific deadline, for lifting the lockdown and curfew. It is also likely that a number of measures will remain in force, such as social distancing and the wearing of masks.

The French public is anticipating a lengthy extension, according to a poll by Elabe. One quarter of respondents said that expect the lockdown to last until April 30, one-third expect it to last until May 15, while a further one-third expect it to last beyond that point.

The decision to lift restrictions will depend on two factors, the case and death statistics on one hand, and economic considerations on the other. The lockdown is very damaging to the French economy, and for every two weeks the country continues to be in lockdown, the economy will shrink by a further 1.5 per cent.