Life is slowly returning to Paris on Monday as France begins a "gradual" easing of its COVID-19 restrictions after eight weeks in lockdown and more than 26,000 deaths related to the virus.

Passengers and police officers could be seen outside Gare du Nord train station, a major hub in the capital. The Hotel de Ville city hall in Paris housing the city's local administration appeared to be almost deserted.

On Thursday, French Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe announced that the easing will be gradual to prevent a resurgence of the virus, and unveiled a government's colour-coded map to indicate high-infection areas.

Shops, business and small cultural places will be able to reopen as restaurants and bars will remain closed until further notice.‚Äč

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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