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Europe slowly emerges from coronavirus lockdown as France and Holland become the latest to reopen schools


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Europe slowly emerges from coronavirus...

FRANCE and Holland are to re-open schools after weeks of lockdowns amid the coronavirus crisis.

French primary school pupils will return to school on May 11 for lessons restricted to around 15 children per class.

⚠ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Children sit around a table at a school in Toulouse for the kids of key workers
AFP or licensors

Primary school children at a school in Toulouse for the kids of key workers[/caption]

Children attend a school class in Schijndel in Holland
EPA

Children attend a school deserted class in Schijndel in Holland[/caption]

Youngsters across Holland will also be allowed to return to lessons from May 11 but only on a part-time basis.

Older children in France can return on May 18 if schools have met strict health conditions set out by the state.

The government said any arrangements would now be discussed with the local authorities, unions and parents.

Dutch PM Mark Rutte said younger pupils will at first return to their lessons but only on a ‘part-time’ basis.

High schools in Holland have now been told to be ready to reopen by June 2.

The news comes as it was revealed Italy is hoping  to start easing its lockdowns from May 4.

Students sit exams during the lockdown in Holland
Getty Images – Getty

Students sit exams during the lockdown in Holland[/caption]

Visitors wear protective face masks at a zoo in Landau, Germany
EPA

Visitors wear protective face masks at a zoo in Landau, Germany[/caption]

However any changes will be cautious and calculated, warned Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

The country has been the hardest hit in Europe with more than 24,100 people losing their lives.

It introduced rules in March telling Italians to stay at home and closing schools and businesses.

“I wish I could say: let’s reopen everything. Immediately. We start tomorrow morning … But such a decision would be irresponsible,” Conte wrote on Facebook.

He promised “a serious, scientific plan” which would include a “rethinking of modes of transport” to enable workers to travel safely.

Shoppers queue outside a reopened Ikea store in Cologne, Germany
Getty Images – Getty

Shoppers queue outside a reopened Ikea store in Cologne, Germany[/caption]

“It is reasonable to expect that we will apply it from May 4,” Conte wrote.

Germany has already reopened a number of non-essential shops after the country following a drop in deaths.

For the first time in weeks, some regions allowed shops to reopen on Monday.

Stores smaller than 8,600 sq ft were allowed to welcome customers again as long as they adhere to the social distancing measures.

Shoppers in Dortmund on Monday as small shops reopened across Germany
Getty Images – Getty

Shoppers in Dortmund after small shops reopened across Germany[/caption]

People stroll at the shopping district 'Hohe Strasse' in Cologne today
Reuters

People stroll through the shopping district ‘Hohe Strasse’ in Cologne today[/caption]

We have already reported how Austria has begun lifting its strict lockdown after certain shops were given the green light to re-open.

However, tourists will only be allowed back into the country by the summer – and this might not even include Brit holidaymakers.

The country was one of the few in Europe to enforce the harsh lockdown rules during the pandemic.

A clothes store in Rome has opened up - with its owner not taking any chances
Reuters

A clothes store in Rome has opened up – with its owner not taking any chances[/caption]

Parents and children line up in Copenhagen, Denmark as schools reopen
Parents and children line up in Copenhagen, Denmark as schools reopen
AFP

Face masks are mandatory when visiting supermarkets and small shops were only allowed to open again last week.

Meanwhile, Spain has now backed down on a controversial decision to stop children enjoying a walk with their parents.

Health Minister Salvador Illa countered a wave of criticism by confirming under 14s would be able to go for a stroll with their mums and dads from this Sunday.


The U-turn came after his government was labelled a “joke” by Spaniards.

They have been prevented from leaving home since mid-March when Spain’s state of emergency began.

Mr Illa, confirming walks would be allowed, said the government had “listened” to the criticism.

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FRANCE and Holland are to re-open schools after weeks of lockdowns amid the coronavirus crisis. French primary school pupils will return to school on May 11 for lessons restricted to around 15 children per class. ⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates Youngsters across Holland will also be allowed to […]

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