Dynamic or static: What are the rules of going to the beach in France?

France's beaches, closed for the two months of the strict lockdown, are reopening - but with a rule that you must be 'dynamic'. Here's what you need to know.

France is beginning to loosen its strict lockdown but there are still plenty of restrictions in place, which means that a relaxing trip to the beach just got a whole lot more complicated.

So if you fancy some sea air and the feel of sand between your toes, here's what you need to know.

Is it more than 100km away?

This is the first thing to check – how far are you travelling to the beach? Although travel is now freer than it was during the strict phase of the lockdown when every trip out of the home required a permission form there are still limits.

The 100km rule means that any trip of more than 100km from your home needs an essential reason and a permission form.

READ ALSO How does France's 100km rule work?

Is it open?

Although many beaches have reopened since lockdown began to be lifted on May 11th not all have – and this is a decision for local authorities.

Authorities in northern France who had reopened their beaches have since decided to close three of them down again because too many people were gathering there and several other mayors are putting in reduced opening times to try and avoid crowds over the Ascension holiday weekend.

MAP: Which French beaches are open?


Unfortunately this kind of glorious laziness is now not allowed on French beaches. Photo: AFP

Are you dynamic?

Don't worry, this isn't a comment on your personality, it just covers the type of activity you are allowed to do on the beach.

Broadly dynamic activities such as walking, running or swimming are fine while static activities like picnicking, sunbathing or reading are not.

So if you go to the beach you need to keep moving.

Are you in a crowd?

This one is  a bit more difficult to control, but beaches can be closed or cleared if too many people gather.

Groups of fewer than 10 people are allowed to travel there together, so going for a walk with a group of mates is fine, but if the beach itself becomes too crowded then you could be moved on or local officials could decide to close the beach.

Officials from the Mobihan préfecture in Brittany said that beachgoers gathered in several static groups and failed to observe the appropriate distancing measures. Beaches at Damgan, Billiers and Erdeven will close from Wednesday night.

Beaches have new rules around the activities permitted there. Photo: AFP

Hygiene measures

Masks are not compulsory in public places, although they are on public transport so you will need one if you take the bus or train to the seaside.

You should keep at least 1m away from other people, wash your hands and use hand gel regularly and if you sneeze or cough, do it into your elbow. 




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