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France to end state of health emergency on July 10: report
BY 2020-06-11 13:48:30

PARIS, June 10 (Xinhua) -- The French government has decided to end the state of health emergency on July 10, two weeks ahead of the previously scheduled date, and expected to retain certain power to restrict freedom in the next months to contain the spread of coronavirus, French daily Le Monde reported on Wednesday.

"Given the positive development of the health situation at this stage, the government wishes to end the state of health emergency, which must remain an exceptional case," le Monde quoted the prime minister's office as saying.

This exit from state of health emergency "must be organized rigorously and gradually in order to continue to protect the French in the face of a virus which is still spreading, and can justify the continuation or even, if necessary, the reinforcement of certain measures already applied over next weeks or months," it added.

The government has prepared a draft bill that allows it to extend some restrictive rules until Nov. 10 if the epidemic situation requires. The bill will be debated on June 17 at the Natioanl Assembly before being sent to the Senate, according to the report.

France, one of the European countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, declared a state of health emergency on March 24. In May, the government decided to extend it by another two months until July 24.

Under the French law, a state of health emergency empowers the government to rule by decree without parliamentary approval to take special measures, such as to restrict people's freedom of movement and to requisition certain goods and services in order to fight against a health disaster.

The new bill, if passed by the parliament, will allow the executive to restrict the freedom of movement to a certain extent beyond July 10 for a period of four months. People's movement and access to public transport may be limited. Public gatherings could be banned, while certain establishments, including restaurants, cinemas and shopping centers, may be temporarily closed.

As of Tuesday, France recorded 29,296 coronavirus-related deaths, while the number of people in intensive care, a key indicator to evaluate the ability of the country's health system to handle the epidemic, fell below 1,000 for the first time since mid-March. 

(Editor:Li Zhaoqi) (From:xinhua)
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