French PM to present plan to unwind coronvirus lockdown on Tuesday

FILE PHOTO: French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe speaks at a news conference at Hotel Matignon, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Paris, France April 19, 2020. Thibault Camus/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) - French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will present the government’s plan to unwind the country’s coronavirus lockdown to parliament on Tuesday, followed by a debate and vote, his office said in a statement.

The lockdown ordered by President Emmanuel Macron to slow the spread of the virus has been in place since March 17 and is due to be lifted on May 11.

Macron is aiming to ease some of the lockdown measures then with schools reopening first, although the government has yet to finalise how it might work in practice.

France has also offered retailers some relief by saying it wants them to reopen on May 11, though some curbs could remain in certain areas to delay a new wave of the coronavirus.

The death toll in France from the coronavirus now stands at 22,614, the health ministry said on Saturday.

Reporting by Marine Pennetier and Michel Rose; Editing by David Clarke