President Macron confirmed on Monday evening in a televised address that the lockdown will last through May 10, after which there will be gradual reopening of creches and elementary schools, partly in order to enable many parents to return to work. Older students will not be able to return to schools and colleges until later.

Restaurants, bars, cinemas and other places of entertainment will remain closed until mid-July, the President said.

“This epidemic cannot weaken our democracy or attack our freedoms,” the President said. He spoke, too, about rebuilding a better, more equal France after the epidemic is over. However, he warned that the partial relaxation of the lockdown on May 11 will not be possible unless the current lockdown is respected.

He finished on a high note, saying: “”We will see better days and we will rediscover happy days, and the virtues which today allow us to hold on will be those which allow us to build the future. So take care of yourselves, take care of each other and we will win.”

The President’s address stood in marked contrast to those of some other European leaders, not only in its style and competence, as he admitted that the country had not been properly prepared to face the onslaught of the virus.

Meanwhile, as previously reported, Monaco will maintain its lockdown until May 3. However, in light of the French head of states’s setting of May 11 as the beginning of the end of the lockdown in France, further statements from the Prince’s Government can be expected within days outlining the Principality’s plans.

PHOTO: Police on both sides of the Monaco-France border were busy over the weekend in sending back or fining pedestrians and motorists crossing the border, as pictured here as French police officers pull over Monaco drivers and demand a French attestation for the 300 metres between Monte-Carlo Bay and Monte-Carlo Beach Resort