Pupils head back to school as France eases lockdown

More than a million French primary school students were back at school on Tuesday (May 12)

Children sat at least a metre apart - and teachers wore masks - as they returned to classrooms for the first time in two months.

Lessons were different to the usual maths and science.

Instead students were taught about hygiene - the message: wash your hands, don’t touch your face and keep away from each other.

School director Stephanie Delormel.

"I think it will be complicated for some children to respect the rules, but then we've done everything to make sure the sanitary rules are respected."

One and a half million elementary and primary students went back to school - or around one in four.

But not everyone was happy to see classes reopen.

Pascal Thevenot is Mayor of Velizy-Villacoublay, near Paris.

He was one of 300 mayors from the Paris region to warn the government against rushing children back to school.

"I'm always in support of the families and I won't let down any resident who would not be able work because they haven't found a solution for their child. That's why we mobilised all our teams, both teachers and youth workers, to welcome back the children in the utmost safety."

French authorities wrote a 54-page sanitary protocol which cities and schools must comply with before re-opening.

Despite that, some parents have chosen to keep their children at home.

While Mayors in other parts of France will keep their schools closed until further notice.