Wed | Jul 8, 2020

People sunbathe in cordoned-off spaces

Published:Monday | May 25, 2020 | 12:05 AM
Parisians, wearing protective masks, sit in the sun along the closed Tuileries Garden in Paris on Saturday, May 23, as France gradually lifts its COVID-19 lockdown.
Parisians, wearing protective masks, sit in the sun along the closed Tuileries Garden in Paris on Saturday, May 23, as France gradually lifts its COVID-19 lockdown.

LA GRANDE-MOTTE (AP):

GRATEFUL FRENCH families flocked to the beach at La Grande-Motte on the Mediterranean shore on Sunday, swimming and sunbathing in areas carefully marked to keep them a safe distance from others.

Cordons of ropes and wooden stakes were neatly spaced out across the sand, giving each visitor or group an eight-square-metre (86-square-foot) space of their own.

Reservations are free but required, and there is already a two-day waiting list. Those lucky enough to get a spot for the four-day weekend around Thursday’s Christian holiday Ascension relished the opportunity, frolicking beneath a summer-like sun.

Elsewhere in France, beaches have also reopened, but only for individual sports or walks, and visitors are not allowed to sit or lie down. La Grande-Motte says it was the first town to put in place new social-distancing measures, allowing other activities to resume.

In the French capital this weekend, Parisians soaked up the sun along the embankments of the Seine River and lounged on ledges outside the Tuileries Garden, still shuttered like all of the city’s parks as the city gradually emerges from confinement.