After living under intense lockdown for much of the last year (with far stronger measures than those enacted in the U.S.), French people celebrated today as the first day of the end of le confinement.
Cafés were flooded first thing in the morning, despite the rain, with Parisians desperate to get back to their espresso and people-watching. Even president Emmanuel Macron was spotted taking coffee with Prime Minister Jean Castex.
The Louvre, which can now operate at reduced capacity, was sold out. Pre-Covid, tourism was 7.5% of France’s GDP, and the French government is doing what it can to reopen big tourist attractions as soon as possible, first off by agreeing to offer free Covid tests to visitors.
“Tourism is a key part of the French economy and that’s why we have decided to have these tests for free for foreign tourists, so France will be one of the most attractive destinations among open countries,” explained French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.