France sets up website for people wanting to help out during coronavirus crisis

For many people, feeling that they are not able to help out as the country faces a major health crisis is frustrating - but now a new website has been set up for volunteers.

France sets up website for people wanting to help out during coronavirus crisis
You can sign up for tasks such as delivering food for sick or vulnerable people. Photo: AFP

The French government site aims to connect those who need help during the strict lockdown with those who want to help – while keeping to the principle of social distancing to avoid spreading coronavirus further.

Many communities have already set up their own local schemes – doing everything from providing food parcels to running errands – but the new government website aims to connect up those who want to offer their help with people who need it.

READ ALSO France sees army of volunteers step up during coronavirus crisis


The site suggests four broad categories for offering support; distributing food and other necessities to those who need it, offering childcare for key workers, fetching groceries and other necessities for vulnerable, elderly or ill people and providing a social link (by phone or online) to vulnerable people who are struggling during the lockdown.

The site – Réserve Civique Covid 19 – is open both to organisations who want to suggest a scheme and individuals who want to offer their help.

Following president Emmanuel Macron's calls for solidarité as the country faces a “war” over coronavirus, the site states: “This commitment space is open to all.

“Whether you are a regular volunteer, used to charity work or if you want, for the first time, to give a little time and energy.

“Because this health war is unprecedented, because it concerns us all and because we want to win it. Together.”

Individuals are asked to sign up to the site, stating the area they are based in, and provide contact details.

Launched at the end of last week there are already thousands of people signed up and hundreds of local schemes – organised by both individuals and groups as the Red Cross – that people can sign up to help with.

Find out more at the site here.



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France scraps compulsory self-isolation after positive Covid test

France's public health body outlined how Covid-19 rules changed starting on February 1st, including an end to compulsory self-isolation after a positive test result.

France scraps compulsory self-isolation after positive Covid test

Starting on February 1st, Covid rules relaxed in France as the country brought an end to compulsory isolation for those who test positive for the virus.

However, those travelling from China to France will still be required to agree to a random screening upon arrival and to isolate in the case of a positive Covid-19 test result. Travellers aged 11 and over coming from China must also provide a negative test result (less tan 48 hours) prior to boarding and those aged six and over must agree to wear a mask on board flights. These regulations – which was set to last until January 31st – is set to remain in place until February 15th.

The French public health body (The Direction générale de la santé or DGS)  announced the change on Saturday in a decree published in the “Journal Officiel” outlining the various ways the body will loosen previous coronavirus restrictions.

READ MORE: What Covid rules and recommendations remain for visiting France?

Those who were in contact with someone who tested positive – ie a contact cases – will also no longer be required to take a test, though the public health body stressed that both testing after contact and isolating after receiving a positive test remain recommended.

Previously, even asymptomatic people who had been in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 were required to test on the second day after being notified that they were a “contact-case”.

These changes took effect on February 1st.

READ MORE: What changes in France in February 2023?

The DGS also said that website SI-DEP, which records test results, will remain in operation until June 30th, however starting in February it will only collect personal data with the express permission of the patient.

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Additionally, the French government announced that sick leave procedures for people with Covid-19 would return to normal starting February 1st – this means that those who test positive for Covid-19 now also have the three-day wait period before daily sick benefits are required to be paid, as is usually the case. Previously, people with Covid-19 could expect daily sick benefits to begin at the start of their sick leave period (arrêt maladie in French).  

READ MORE: How sick leave pay in France compares to other countries in Europe

Covid tests are still available on walk-in basis from most pharmacies are are free to people who are fully vaccinated and registered in the French health system. Unvaccinated people, or visitors to France, have to pay up to a maximum of €22 for an antigen test of €49 for a PCR test. 

If you recently tested positive for Covid-19 in France – or you suspect you may have contracted Covid-19 – you can find some information for how to proceed here.

In explaining the changes that began at the start of February, the French public health body also noted a drop in Covid-19 infections in the past month. As of January 30th, approximately 3,800 people in France had tested positive in the previous 24 hours for the coronavirus – which represents a decrease from the averages of 20,000 new cases per day about one month ago.