After eight long weeks of hibernation, spring and the French public are emerging on to the streets of Paris.

People are back outside in the towns and cities after a far stricter lockdown than the one in the UK.

The government stipulated that people could only leave their house to carry out essential errands and any outside exercise should take place with 1km of a resident's home.

In addition, everyone who could work from home should have done so

Residents can once again roam free without the need for a signed document of authorisation.

The French health system, envied by many in Europe, came close to toppling over at coronavirus' peak, but is now well within capacity.

Thus far, the country has had 177,547 confirmed cases and 26,646 deaths.

French hospitals came close to being overwhelmed. Credit: PA

"We were very close to failing but we did not reach that point, we had enough ventilators but it was very close," Dr Pierre Squara told ITV News.

There was enough PPE to go round, as infection rates stayed relatively low among medical staff.

Now the infection rate is low enough for something close to normality to resume.

The youngest children have been allowed to return to school, even if class sizes are limited.

Not every child can attend each day but it does mean parents can get back to work, a further step towards reinstating the status quo.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know