These are the rules for sport and exercising in France after May 11th

On May 11th, France will loosen up restrictions on individual exercise and sport. Here's a look at what will be allowed and what will remain forbidden for the time being.

These are the rules for sport and exercising in France after May 11th
Joggers will be allowed jog again without restrictions as of May 11th, although beaches may remain closed. Photo: AFP

The French Sports Ministry on Thursday released a plan for how restrictions on physical exercise will begin to be lifted in France on May 11th, the date the country begins to lift the lockdown.

The nationwide lockdown has imposed strict rules on physical exercise, limiting all outside activity to one hour maximum and within 1km of the home.

Cycling for exercise purposes has not been permitted since the lockdown began on March 17th, although cycling to work or the shops is still permitted.

In Paris jogging is not allowed between 10am and 7pm.

Starting May 11th, this will change, although as with everything there could be additional local restrictions.

Here's a look at what the government has in mind so far. 

From May 11th

The general public will be able to run, walk and cycle outside again without having to limit themselves to one hour or staying 1km from their home. This will not require a permission form. There are some limits to the new rules:

  • The sport must be practiced outside
  • People must limit themselves to a distance of 100km from home
  • All activity must be practiced at a distance of 10m from other people (this goes for individual exercise like jogging, cycling or hiking)
  • For people practicing sports like tennis, yoga, or other outdoor fitness practices there must be at least four square metres per person

The sports ministry will release a more details soon regarding these practices.

All contact sports and team sports will however forbidden until further notice. The sports ministry will present a full list of all sports that will be concerned by this ban. 

All activity must be done outside. Gyms and indoor sports pitches will remain closed in this period.

Locker rooms will need to remain closed in the event that they are made available for outdoor sports.

Starting May 11th, cyclists will be able to cycle for fun again. Photo: AFP

All these new measures will be subject to a reevaluation before June 2nd, which is the date the government has outlined for “phase 2,” the next phase of the lifting of the lockdown.

What happens in phase 2 depends on how phase 1 (May 11th to June 2nd) goes.

READ ALSO This is France's plan for lifting lockdown

Professional athletes – will be able to resume training after a health check, but only individually and respecting the rules of social distancing listed above.

Professional sports clubs   The Prime Minister has said that professional sports cannot recommence before September at the earliest.

The French football league (LFP) is expected to formally end its season after calling a board meeting on Thursday afternoon, sources told AFP, clearing the way for Paris Saint-Germain to be declared champions again.
The meeting follows Edouard Philippe's announcement that “professional sports leagues, notably football, cannot restart” because of the risks linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Top 14 rugby union league also reached an agreement to abandon the season for the Top 14 and Pro D2 leagues.
“We propose to declare that this 2019-2020 season is at an end and focus on organising the launch of the 2020-2021 editions of the two championships from September 2020,” the LNR added in a statement.

The sports ministry said it is working with local sports association to adapt health practices to fit with each sports discipline and different areas.

Member comments

  1. This is great news. Has there been any discussion about when water activities such as sailing might be allowed again?

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‘Serious malfunctions’ at French research unit headed by Didier Raoult

A criminal investigation is set to begin into the Marseille research unit headed by controversial scientist Didier Raoult, after a report found "serious malfunctions".

'Serious malfunctions' at French research unit headed by Didier Raoult

The findings of the joint investigation into the IHU at Marseille by the Inspection générale des affaires sociales (IGAS) and the  l’Inspection générale de l’éducation, du sport et de la recherche (IGESR) prompted Health Minister François Braun and Research Minister Sylvie Retailleau to refer the unit to the city’s public prosecutor, urging it to investigate “serious malfunctions” at the institution.

Raoult was head of the unit from its foundation in 2011 until his retirement this summer.

The controversial microbiologist gained significant worldwide attention during the Covid-19 pandemic for his vociferous promotion of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment, despite a lack of evidence on its effectiveness.

READ ALSO Five minutes to understand: Whatever happened to French professor Didier Raoult?

He was succeeded as director by Pierre-Edouard Fournier.

The ministers said that a number of issues highlighted in the latest report are “likely to constitute offences or serious breaches of health or research regulations”.

Fournier, and the institute’s seven founding members – including the University of Aix-Marseille, Assistance Publique-Hospitals de Marseille, the Research Institute for Development or the army health service – will now be summoned by their supervisory bodies to “implement a proactive action plan as soon as possible” which “will condition the continuation of the activity of the IHU-MI and its funding by the State”, according to the joint communiqué of the ministers.

The IHU was already under judicial investigation for “forgery in writing”, “use of forgery in writing”, and “interventional research involving a human person not justified by his usual care without obtaining the opinion of the committee for the protection of persons and the authorisation of the Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament et des produits de santé (ANSM),” the Marseille prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.

In an earlier report, the ANSM had noted “serious breaches of the regulations for research involving humans”, during some clinical trials.

READ ALSO Maverick French Covid doctor reprimanded over ‘breaches’ in clinical trials

François Crémieux, the director of Marseille public hospitals, told local newspaper La Provence on Tuesday that the establishment “shares the observation of managerial excesses of certain hospital-university managers occupying key functions within the infectious diseases division”.

“The legitimacy of the IHU has been affected. It has lost its scientific credibility. It must now be regained. 800 highly skilled professionals work there every day,” he added.

Raoult bit back at the report in a tweet, saying: “I regret that the IGAS/IGAENR mission does not take into account the detailed legal and scientific response that I have provided”.

Separately, Raoult will be in court on Friday as his defamation case against Karine Lacombe, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Sorbonne University Faculty of Medicine, comes before judges.