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French people can go out without mask by summer if…

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France will not mandate the wearing of masks outdoors by summer if the country’s vaccine rollout accelerates, French Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Tuesday.

“When we have enough French people vaccinated, we can let down our guard,’’ Veran was quoted by local broadcaster Europe 1 as saying.

More than 16 million people in France have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, and about 6.7 million people have received two jabs.

This represents more than 30 per cent and nearly 13 per cent of the country’s adult population respectively, according to the Health Ministry.

To date, France has reported a total of 5.66 million COVID-19 cases and 105,310 related deaths.

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The French government aims to inoculate 20 million people by mid-May and 30 million by mid-June.

On Monday, the government lifted travel restrictions limiting people to a 10 km radius from their homes.

Inter-regional travel is also permitted and secondary schools were partly reopened.

From May 19, the night curfew will also be pushed back by two hours to 9 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) and non-essential shops will also reopen.

Restaurants and cafes will be able to receive clients with a maximum of six people per table.

Museums, theaters, cinemas and sport facilities will reopen, with a limit of 800 people indoors and 1,000 outdoors.

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