COVID-19 vaccinations in France reach 20 million

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FILE PHOTO: A couple wearing protective face masks walks past the Eiffel Tower during the Coronavirus pandemic on February 26, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Chesnot / Getty Images via VCG)
FILE PHOTO: A couple wearing protective face masks walks past the Eiffel Tower during the Coronavirus pandemic on February 26, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Chesnot / Getty Images via VCG)

The number of initial vaccinations administered in France hit the 20 million mark on Saturday, days ahead of the country’s planned reopening.

President Emmanuel Macron announced the milestone, a government-set target that amounts to almost a third of the country’s population.

Of the 20 million people who have received the vaccines nearly nine million have been fully inoculated.

“It’s a very important moment for the entire country, because it supports our prospects for ending this crisis,” Reuters quotes Prime Minister Jean Castex.

Health Minister Olivier Veran earlier tis week announced plans to reopen the country following a decline in daily new cases and deaths.

Starting May 19, non-essential business will be allowed to reopen, with restaurants and cafés permitted to admit customers outdoors with a maximum of six people per table. The measures are part of a four-step easing of restrictions announced at the end of April.

France will also begin welcoming foreign tourists from June 9 if they have a vaccination certificate or a PCR test.

A nighttime curfew may be lifted starting June 30 if infection rates remain low.

(With input from agencies)

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