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French expression of the day: Jusqu’à nouvel ordre

French expression of the day: Jusqu'à nouvel ordre
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
It's the answer to many questions about restrictions in France, especially travel rules - but what does it really mean?

Why do I need to know jusqu’à nouvel ordre?

Because it’s a great way of being quite vague about dates while sounding quite official, so no wonder governments love it.

What does it mean?

Jusqu’à nouvel ordre can me translated to ‘until the new order’. Jusqu’à means ‘until’ and le nouvel ordre means ‘the new order’.

It means ‘until further notice’.

The French online dictionary l’Internaute defines it as “Jusqu’à ce qu’il en soit décidé autrement. Cela signifie que l’ordre initial prévaut jusqu’à l’édiction d’un ordre ultérieur” – ‘Until something different has been decided. That means that the initial order stands until the giving of a different order’.

Originally military jargon, jusqu’à nouvel ordre is an expression you probably will have heard a lot lately. 

French government officials have used it a lot over the past year to describe rules and restrictions that have no set end date, and the latest restrictions on travel into France from the UK are a good example of something that is in place jusqu’à nouvel ordre – until further notice.

Use it like this

Les bars et les restaurants restent fermés jusqu’au nouvel ordre. – Bars and restaurants will remain closed until further notice.

Quand est-ce que je pourrai rendre visite à ma grand-mère en France ? When can I visit my grandmother in France?

Sauf motif imperieux, les déplacements à partir du Royaume-Uni sont interdits jusqu’à nouvel ordre – Without vital reasons, travel from the UK is forbidden until further notice.

This expression isn’t limited to the coronavirus, of course.

It goes for anything temporarily without a set end-date.


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