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France to ease restrictions and allow events without social distancing

Theatres will be able to reopen if capacities are under 5000

A venue with spectators

In a big move for the country, France has announced it will be permitting events without social distancing.

In an interview with French publication France Inter, Prime Minister Jean Castex has said "to govern is to know how to adapt to circumstances", and that French citizens should learn to "live with the virus". Culture minister Roselyne Bachelot then confirmed the policies on Twitter.

From now on, audiences of up to 5000 will be able to sit together, though all attendees must be seated and wearing facemasks while the pandemic continues. The Prime Minister also said that the cultural sector would receive €2 billion support, a similar value to the UK's £1.57bn support.

It is not all crystal cut however – similar to local lockdowns in the UK, the easing of rules will not apply to "red zones" – areas with high levels of transmission – for example Paris, Lyon, Gironde, Marseille and Bordeaux.

At the moment France has 132,090 active cases of Covid-19, with 3,304 new cases confirmed on August 25.

Bans on events with more than 5000 people will last until at least November.

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