The French authorities are lifting many coronavirus restrictions in two stages, on February 2 and February 16.

From Wednesday it will no longer be compulsory to wear a mask in public places, such as markets or in queues, although the practice remains ‘recommended.’ Masks will remain obligatory indoors.

Limits on numbers attending sports events will also go, but with the vaccine pass in place limiting access to the fully-vaccinated, those with three vaccine doses.

Working from home will become voluntary. From January 25, close contacts of positive cases do not have to self-isolate if fully-vaccinated.

From February 16, discos will reopen, concerts will have no limit on numbers, and bars can serve standing customers. Also from this date refreshments will become legal again in stadiums, cinemas and trains.

FILE PHOTO: Young people in UK enjoy the end of first lockdown in July 2020 Reuters