Up until now, the attestation de déplacement dérogatoire, which everyone must carry with them when they leave their home, has only been allowed in paper format.
This has meant members of the public who need to leave their homes to go shopping or for a short jog have needed to either print or write out their permission slip.
But on Thursday Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told Le Parisien newspaper that from Monday April 6th a smartphone version will be made available.
“From now one the French are used to the rules of lockdown, so it's right that they are given a little flexibility via this tool,” said Castaner.
Since the rules around leaving the home were tightened last week, members of the public have to include the time when they left home on the signed and dated form.
This will still be compulsory but with the smartphone version police will be able to determine the time when someone edited the document.
This will prevent people simply filling out the document when they see the police, the minister says.
The smartphone document will include a QR code which will give the police the information they need.
The form does not need to be signed as was first suggested by authorities.
The form currently has to be either printed out or – for people who do not have a home printer – written out in full. Photo: AFP
In the event of being stopped, the police officer will be able to scan the QR code on your phone. This prevents the police officer from exposing themselves to the risk of infection by touching hundreds of people's phones.
It also ensures that no data gets collected from the user, France's Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said when presenting the plan to Le Parisien.
The government briefly attempted to launch a permission form on a smartphone application in the first days of the lockdown, which begun on March 17th.
But because of the difficulties of controlling the app and a risk of having the data stolen, they quickly stopped.