It was a long 55 days where only supermarket trips, exercising or walking your dog were considered a form of outside recreation. COVID had everyone and everything on pause and now it was time to re-press the play button. A button that the French government deliberated and hesitated to press for weeks with this fog of uncertainty.
On May 11th, as lockdown eased in other French regions, the city of Lille was still unable to enjoy life after lockdown. Hauts-de-France and Île-de-France were the only two regions in the red zone which meant that stricter measures were in place to prevent spread. Weeks later, as the numbers decreased, on June 2nd, these regions were officially out of red and could finally enjoy simple things like a picnic in the park.
My first few weeks returning to the outside world felt strange. It was refreshing to finally see my friends but, in my head, there was always this reminder that ‘France is still fighting a pandemic, the war is not over.’ It wasn’t easy settling into this ‘new normal’ which required queuing to go into every store and the inability to window shop. Basically, if you’re entering a store, you must take a basket which translates to ‘you better be buying something if you’re here.’ With restaurants, cafes and bars now open, French culture can finally be restored as people make their way to enjoy sunny terraces and rooftops.
With 25 days of deconfinement in the bag, France has managed to control the pandemic, but I guess the question remains, for how long?
DECONFINEMENT FACTS (JUNE 5)
- Borders between other EU & Schengen countries are reopening
- Borders remain closed for countries outside EU & Schengen areas
- Masks are compulsory for public transport
- Cinemas to be reopened June 22
- No gatherings of more than 10
- Nightclubs remain closed 😔
Where are you from? What’s changed since COVID? Share in the comments