France has tightened up the rules on leaving the home during lockdown and passed a new decree concerning the rules.
The new decree has lead to a new, more detailed, attestation that needs to be filled out every time you leave your home.
What are the rules?
France has been on lockdown since Tuesday, March 17th and during that time the rules on going out have been gradually tightened.
The basic principle is that you can only leave your home for essential trips and if possible the trips must be done alone – the government wants as few people as possible out of their homes at any one time, to give the virus fewer chances to spread.
Police are patrolling on the streets and the roads and anyone who is out without a form, or who is out for a reason that doesn't fall into one of the essential categories faces a fine of €135, or €200 if you are caught twice within a 15 day period.
Also pay attention to local restrictions in your area. Several mayors and préfets have imposed extra controls such as curfews, a ban on going to certain areas.
So when can I leave my home?
The new form has seven possible categories on it that constitute acceptable reasons to leave home. They are:
To work, if your work is essential and cannot be done from home
To shop for essential items. Most shops in France are now closed but food shops, pharmacies and tabacs (tobacco shops) remain open
For medical appointments if the appointment is urgent and cannot be done via an online appointment. Many routine hospital appointments have already been cancelled, although urgent care like cancer treatments and dialysis continues. If you have a GP appointment you are asked to choose an online appointment if possible or, if the matter can wait, reschedule it. Women are still able to access pregnancy care and abortions.
For vital family reasons eg urgent care for children or the elderly. Simply visiting family is not a good enough reason to be out and the government has previously said that no-one should be visiting people aged over 70 or with serious health conditions except to provide vital assistance. Visiting is banned at all Ehpad retirement homes and care facilities
Physical exercise. The rules on this have been tightened in recent days and this is reflected on the form. You can exercise alone, for a maximum of one hour, within 1km of your home. You can also exercise pets under the same conditions, or walk alone or with people who share the home with you.
Following a judicial or administrative summons
- Participating in activities in the general interest at the request of administrative authorities. This one is a bit vague, but if you're going to use this one it would probably be wise to have some some of documentation showing that you are out at the request of your local authority.
Travel to a port/airport is not one of categories to tick, but tourists are permitted to travel to head home. You can write on the form Je rentre au Royaume-Uni/ aux Etas-Uni en voiture / par avion (aeroport de: ville) / par train – I am returning to the UK/ the USA by car/ by air (name the airport you are flying from) / by train.
And I need a form?
Yes, every time you leave your home you need to fill in a form, and it needs to be a new form for each trip. The new form can be downloaded here (the same link as the old form) and printed out.
From April 6th, a smartphone version will be available.
The link has options for two forms – an attestation de déplacement dérogatoire, which is what you need for leaving the home for non-work related reasons, and a justificat de déplacement professionnel which is for people going to work (see below).
There is also a version in English and French – the fourth document option where it says “download“.
People who do not have a printer are permitted to present a handwritten copy of the from, but make sure you copy out the introductory wording exactly, as in the picture below.
We understand you then only need to write out the one justification that refers to your reason for going out rather than all the options.
But be careful to include all of the extra information such as: place and date of birth, address, time you left the house and signature.
A download of the form on a phone or tablet will not accepted.
What about the old form?
Many people have been asking whether they can still use the old forms if they add the extra information needed (see below). The Ministry of Interior made it clear to France Info that there will be a kind of period of transition which means the old forms will be accepted “for a certain period time” as long as the time of leaving the house is added on by hand. The ministry didn't specify when this grace period would end.
Formal cards or passes from the medical profession and journalists will also be accepted in lieu of a form if people are out performing professional duties.
What information is needed?
At the top you need to fill in your name, date of birth, place of birth (which is a new addition from the original form) and your address on the line for demeurant (residing).
You then need to tick the category that applies to your trip and at the bottom of the form you must sign it, then add the place where you signed it (in the fait à box, which is standard for signatures on French contracts) and add both the date and the time when you left home.
At present you do not need to provide proof of your trip, the form is a declaration on your honour and when you sign you are saying that the information you give is true.
You should take ID with you, however, in case you are stopped.
And for those who can't work from home?
For employees who cannot work from home and need to go to their place of work you will also need a separate “justificatif de deplacement professionel” that must be signed by your employer.
On that form you have to detail how you get to work.
Self-employed people only need to fill out the attestation de déplacement dérogatoire, but if stopped need to be prepared to explain to police what their work is, why it is essential and cannot be done from home or postponed.
Attestation de déplacement dérogatoire – travel certificate – the full name of the form.
Justificat de déplacement professionnel – justification of professional travel – the form for employees
Je soussigné(e) – I, the undersigned
Né(e) le – date of birth
Né(e) à – place of birth
Demeurant – residing (ie your address)
Déplacement – journey or trip
Exercice de l'activité profesionnelle – work-related activity
Télétravail – remote working or home working
Effectuer – to carry out
Achats de première necéssité – buying essential items
Motif de santé – health reasons
Motif famililale impérieux – vital family-related reasons
Activité physique individuelle – individual physical exercise (eg going for a run or walking the dog)