Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com.
France's President Emanuel Macron said Monday that some businesses can look forward to reopening on May 11, when he hopes to slowly restart the country's economy for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak began.
"The epidemic is starting to slow down. The results are there," Macron said in a televised address to the nation. "Thanks to your efforts, every day we have made progress."
France has been on lockdown for four weeks with its death toll peaking at 14,967 people — the fourth highest in the world — but Macron stressed that "the epidemic is not under control," and citizens should remain indoors and continue practicing social distancing until the "war" is officially over.
“There is new hope but nothing is won at the moment," he added.
Although they are still grappling with 137,875 cases of COVID-19 Macron said that by May 11 they would be able to test anyone exhibiting symptoms of the virus.
Macron defended criticism his administration has faced for their slow response to the virus and lack of precautionary measures in place including wearing face masks when out in public.
“Were we prepared for this crisis? Obviously, not enough,” Macron said. “But we confronted the situation. In France like anywhere else, we had to handle emergencies, make difficult decisions, based on partial, often changing information, and always adapt.”
Macron said the lack of safety equipment was attributable to global shortages but said: "the past few weeks were marked by real successes.”
Still, restaurants, bars, large gathering spaces including sports halls and concert venues are all banned from reopening until at least mid-July, when the country has a feasible plan to ensure that another dangerous outbreak does not occur.
Primary schools and universities are also closed until September.