France has been on nationwide, strict lockdown since March 17th.
To leave home, people must have a signed and dated form stating their reason for being outside as well as the time they left their house.
They can be fined €135 if they have forgotten the form, if they have been out too long, or if a police officer deems their stated errand as a bad excuse for being out and about.
Legitimate reasons for leaving the house are grocery shopping, going to the pharmacy, doctor's appointments (if urgent), legal obligations, short individual exercise, walking the dog and some other listed reasons that you can find here.
But not everyone has stuck to the official list.
Here are some of the most peculiar excuses presented to police officers during controls.
“I was sick of my wife, I absolutely needed to see my mistress,” one man told police in Haut-Vienne, a region a little southeast of Paris, according to France Bleu.
While the article did not state whether the police decided to fine the man, we can confirm that “cheating” does not feature on the official list of legitimate reasons for leaving home. (And is also naughty, don't do it).
3. Walking your snake
One man in Marseille told officers that his pet – a boa constrictor wrapped around his neck – “needed to get some fresh air,” according to Le Point.
4. Picking flowers
“We pick daffodils, it's the season. Afterwards there won't be any left,” said a couple in Creuse, midwest France, when they were stopped by police.
The police chief in Creuse told France Bleu that the excuse was “not admissible.”
5. Your wife is drunk
6. Grocery shopping.. far from home or at midnight
7. Getting lemons for the apéritif
Then there's the endless debate about what is “essential” grocery shopping and not. One woman was stopped for having bought a six-pack of coca cola, claiming it to be essential shopping to her.
Another man was stopped when getting three lemons.
“I need them for an apéritif,” he told the officers. Despite having filled out the form correctly, the man was fined, according to France Bleu.
Apéro is not essential? Whatever next.
8. Being a good driver
“I am a good driver, I don’t understand why you’re stopping me,” one motorcyclist told officers. He was stopped in Creuse, which seems to have either particularly disobedient residents or very strict police (or both).
While driving for essential errands is not banned during the lockdown, people are not allowed to go driving just for the simple pleasure of it. That goes for all drivers, no matter how accomplished they are.
9. Selling drugs
Key workers are exempt from the lockdown, but drug dealers are not among the professions listed as “essential” for the wellbeing of France. In fact, drug sales have largely decreased since the beginning of the lockdown.
One dealer in Limoges however told officers that “I need to sell my dope if I want to survive.”
10. Buying sunscreen