PARIS - French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a televised address to the nation Tuesday evening to announce a gradual de-confinement that will come in three stages, with a full lifting of the coronavirus lockdown to come on Dec. 15.
In his prototypical show of unanimity, Macron started off on a note of optimism and encouragement to French citizens for weathering the pandemic thus far.
"Our efforts, your efforts, have paid off. We have succeeded in slowing the circulation of the virus," he said.
He also thanked healthcare and front-line workers for their persistent efforts during the crisis.
"Here I want to salute the dedication of the caregivers who have been keen to cooperate, to innovate despite fatigue and weariness. I salute all the professionals, associations and volunteers who have also helped here. It was all together that we achieved these results. It is all together that we saved lives."
The head of state then announced the first stage of de-confinement, starting this Saturday, Nov. 28, with the re-opening of shops that had been considered non-essential, but only until 9 p.m.
Traveling within 20 kilometers (12 miles) from one's residence will