BREAKING NEWS
This content is not available in your region
One of the sculptures at Trocadero square in Paris France is decorated with as a mask
One of the sculptures at Trocadero square in Paris France is decorated with as a mask   -   Copyright  Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews

In pictures: how much have France's three largest cities changed amid the COVID-19 pandemic?

France's cities are adapting to a new lifestyle just two weeks after the country began easing its strict lockdown.

Like many other European states, France is returning to "normal" in phases, with many restrictions still in place.

Social distancing is a must and masks are required in public transport and shops. Traveling is limited to 100 kilometres from one's home with only a handful of exceptions. Cafes, bars and restaurants remain closed.

The photographs below show how life in Paris, Marseille and Lyon, the three largest cities in the country, has been changing during this period.

Paris

France's capital was increasingly busy during the last days of the strict lockdown, as fatigue grew amongst many Parisians.

But a wave of bad weather hit just as France lifted the lockdown measures with temperatures of around 7 degrees Celsius, strong winds and rain.

Paris looked even more deserted on the first day of its much anticipated "freedom" than the day prior.

Slide the cursor on the image above to see Trocadero square in Paris with its iconic view of the Eiffel tower on the last day of lockdown and the first day of measures being lifted.

Many shops are adapting to the new reality, with masks being mandatory in most. Small tobacco shops and bakeries have plastic to separate the staff from their customers.

Many foods and even French wine are available for takeaway.

Euronews
A Parisian cafe sells wine to go in plastic and glass (with a deposit). The sign on the table reads: "It's ugly but also funny, good for a picnic or remote working"Euronews

Just last month masks were nearly impossible to find but now a wide choice is available from single use to designer ones.

Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
A clothes shop in Paris offers a variety of face masks. France, May 2020Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
A Parisian cafe offers tobacco and coffee to go and asks customers to keep their distance. It uses plastic film to prevent the coronavirus from spreadingNataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews

Shops have been allowed to reopen on the the world famous Champs-Élysées. Queues were visible outside some fashion and electronics stores, in part due to the restrictions on how many people could enter at once.

Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
A queue outside a retail store on the Champs-Élysées in ParisNataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Measures taken at the stores in Paris, France in a bid to stop the coronavirus from spreading. May 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews

Malls were also allowed to reopen, but many looked very different with deserted corridors and just a few shops open inside.

In a perfume department the consultant had to communicate new rules: customers weren't allowed to touch products any more but could request assistance. Chocolate shops were trying to sell discounted Easter merchandise.

Tissue and crafts shops offered materials for handmade face mask production, looking busy after lockdown was lifted.

As soon as the sun came out - the streets of Paris came to life. The riverbanks of the Seine and Canal Saint-Martin were crowded.

Parks however, remain closed, as the French capital is in "the red zone" of the country's COVID-19 map, with infection rates remaining relatively high compared to the rest of the country.

Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Place de Bastille in Paris is busy after the strict lockdown measures were eased in France. May 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Canal Saint-Martin in Paris, France. May 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
The steps of Sacre-Coeur of Paris is full of people on the last day of the strict lockdown in France. May 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Nataliia Liubchenkova/ Nataliia Liubchenkova
Police on the way to disperse the public from the steps of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica on the last day of the lockdown in Paris, France. May 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/ Nataliia Liubchenkova
Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Rue Berthe and rue Androuet, decorated for a movie shoot set in 1942, are nearly empty after the movie production was delayed due to the pandemic. 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Restaurants remain closed across France after the lockdown was eased. May 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
The parks remain closed in Paris after the easing of the measures, as the city is in the 'red zone' with higher infection rates than much of the countryNataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
A hotel in Paris remains closed amid the coronavirus pandemic. May 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Construction work restarted in Paris after lockdown measures were eased. France. May 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Nataliia Liubchenkova/ Euronews
La Défense financial district near Paris France. May 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/ Euronews

There have been queues for food distribution for socially vulnerable and homeless people in the city.

Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Food is distributed near a church in Paris, FranceNatalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
An inhabited tent in one of the historic districts of Paris, France. Graffiti that reads "take good care of yourself" is visible on the wall next to it. May 2020Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews

Marseille

Face masks appeared to be much less popular on the streets of Marseille, the largest of the cities on France's Mediterranean coast.

Rules were strictly enforced at the railway station and on the metro but that didn't seem to be the case in many of the city's supermarkets and smaller shops.

Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
The Old Port of Marseille is busy on Sunday morning almost one week after lockdown restrictions were eased. The locals come here to buy fish. May 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Fish selling stalls in the Old Port of Marseille, France. May 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
A piece of soap is seen on the street water fountain in Marseille, France. May 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Crowds of people hide from the rain under the events pavilion at the Old Port in Marseille. May 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
The posters in Marseille metro ask people to keep social distancing measures and to wear face masks in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. France. May 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Social distancing measures are not always adhered to in Marseille's metro. France, May 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews

Lyon

France's third largest city, Lyon, is located roughly half-way between Paris and Marseille.

Parks in Lyon have been able to reopen since it falls within France's "green zone" with less community transmission of the coronavirus.

The Lyonnais were just as eager as Parisians to enjoy green spaces and fresh air again. Crowds could be seen sitting on the banks of Lyon's two rivers the Rhône and the Saône.

Similar to in the French capital, large shopping centres have reopened although shops inside remain mostly closed.

Nataliia Liubchenkova/ Euronews
Parks re-opened in Lyon after restrictions were relaxed but some areas remain closed off.Nataliia Liubchenkova/ Euronews
Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Parks, recreation areas, and riverbanks are busy in Lyon after the lockdown measures were eased. France. May 2020Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
A shopping centre in Lyon, France during the pandemic. France, 2020Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Barriers installed near a sports area in Lyon, France. May 2020Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews
The bank of the Rhône river in Lyon, France, is busy on Sunday night. May 2020Nataliia Liubchenkova/Euronews

The French government has been working to track new clusters of coronavirus cases as the restrictions ease up and will know in the coming weeks how the easing of restrictions has impacted case numbers.

Experts say that respecting social distancing, wearing a mask and washing your hands amongst other preventive measures will be key to keeping a second wave of coronavirus at bay.

Comments