What changes as France moves to ‘phase 2’ of lockdown in June?

France moves into the second phase of its loosened lockdown restrictions on Tuesday, June 2nd - so what changes does that bring to everyday life?

What changes as France moves to 'phase 2' of lockdown in June?
Photo: AFP

France began to loosen its strict lockdown from May 11th, but encouraging data on the virus circulation means that from June 2nd the country moves to the next phase of the plan.

Phase 2 lasts from June 2nd to June 22nd and returns life to a state where, according to the Prime Minister Edouard Philippe “freedom will, finally, be the rule and restriction the exception.”

As with all stages of France's lockdown plan, this comes with the caveat that restrictions can be reimposed if the health situation worsens. Local authorities also have the power to impose extra restrictions in their area if they are concerned over health risks. 

So what changes from Tuesday?

Green and orange zones

MAP France divided into green and orange zones for phase 2 of lockdown

Map: Santé Publique France

As before, France is divided into two zones, but on the revised map the vast majority of the country is coloured green – showing a low circulation of the virus.

The exception to this is the greater Paris Île-de-France region, which is coloured orange to show higher levels of the virus, along with the overseas départements of French Guiana and Mayotte. Orange zones have more restrictions than green zones.

Bars, cafés and restaurants

These can reopen from Tuesday, June 2nd, having been closed by government order since March 15th. 

There are a lot of hygiene restrictions for owners to abide by, including spaces of at least 1m between tables, and in orange zones – including Paris – only outdoor terraces can reopen.

The 100km rule

This rule is scrapped and people can now travel freely around France for any reason, without the need for a permission form.


The gradual reopening of schools is accelerated, with all infant, primary and secondary schools able to open from June 2nd. Maximum class sizes remain, however, so many pupils will only be attending for part of the week.

High schools (lycées) will only reopen in the green zones and universities will continue with online teaching.

Parks, beaches and gardens

These have now all reopened, with Paris reopening parks over the holiday weekend. Local authorities will make the decision on whether to make masks compulsory in parks, beaches and gardens.

IN PICTURES Parisians soak up the sun as parks reopen


Gyms and swimming pools

All gyms can reopen in green zones as of June 2nd and in orange zones as of June 22nd. The same goes for swimming pools.

Cinemas, theatres and museums

Theatres and museums can begin to reopen from June 2nd in green zones, while orange zones must wait until June 22nd.

Cinemas can reopen in the whole country as of June 22nd.

Wearing a mask will be mandatory in all these spaces.


Campsites can reopen on June 2nd in the green zones and June 22nd in orange zones.

What doesn't change

While life in general will look a lot freer, there are still restrictions in place.

  • Those who can work from home are asked to continue to do so
  • Masks remain compulsory on public transport and shops can require their customers to wear masks
  • Gatherings in a public place are still limited to a maximum of 10, although there is no restriction on gatherings in private residences
  • Contacts sports remain banned and professional sports such as rugby and football are not expected to restart before September
  • Nightclubs and music venues remain closed
  • The rules on international travel remain in place, with entry into France heavily restricted. This is not expected to change before June 15th.

READ ALSO When will I be able to travel to France again and will I be quarantined?

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Life in France: 5 plants that (allegedly) repel mosquitoes

Summer in France brings lots of good stuff and some deeply annoying things, like mosquitoes. But did you know that there are plants that you can add to your garden or balcony that will repel these deeply unwelcome visitors?

Life in France: 5 plants that (allegedly) repel mosquitoes

If you’re one of these people who are attractive to mosquitoes then you’ll know the misery of spending the summer covered in itchy red lumps – and the bad news is that the rising global temperatures mean that ‘mosquito season’ in France now lasts longer.

It’s a common problem and in the summer French florists and garden centres often sell ‘anti-moustique‘ plants.

We’re not promising a 100 percent repellent rate, but these are some plants that apparently help.

In good news, most of them are small enough so that you can grow them on your balcony or in a window box if you don’t have a garden.  

Mint (menthe)

A common herb that many people might already have in their gardens, but mosquitoes apparently hate the lovely, fresh scent of mint.

And even if it fails to ward off the bugs, at least you can use the leaves to garnish food or make a nice big jug of Pimms (which might distract you from your horrible, itchy bites).

READ MORE: France’s most toxic plants and berries to watch out for

Marigolds (Rose d’inde, sometimes known as Souci)

These are a popular choice to add a touch of colour to a window box or balcony, as well as to a garden, and have the added benefit of warding off mosquitoes.

Gardeners like them because can boost the growth of other plants when planted together.

Rosemary (romarain)

Another aromatic herb that humans love and mosquitoes apparently hate.

If you’re planting it in the garden use a container because it has a tendency to spread and take over your garden. If you don’t want to grown it, or don’t have the space, you can always add a couple of sprigs to your grill when barbecuing to help keep the mosquitoes away as you dine outdoors.

Lemongrass (citronelle)

You’ll certainly be aware of citronella scent from various mosquito-repelling products including oils and candles, but you can also grow it in the your garden.

It grows quite big so might not be suitable for small gardens or window boxes.

Even if it doesn’t succeed in keeping insets away, you can use it in cooking to add a lemony flavour.

Wormwood (absinthe)

The final one on the list is usually said to be the most effective, but should be used with caution as it is toxic if eaten.

You can grow it in your garden or in a window box, but take great care that it doesn’t end up with your edible herbs as it will make you sick – if you have a garden when children or animals are present then it’s probably best to avoid this one altogether, but on the plus side its pungent scent will keep mosquitoes away.

As the French name suggests, wormwood is one of the main ingredients in the drink Absinthe and is what gives it the distinctive green colour.

Legend has it that wormwood is the active ingredient that makes people hallucinate after drinking absinthe, but in fact the drink is not hallucinogenic and never was. It is extremely strong though, which might explain some of those ‘visions’!

Other tips

Mosquitoes like to hang out and to breed in water or long grass, so you can help keep them away by eliminating their favourite spots. For example;

  • Keep lawns trimmed
  • Eliminate sources of stagnant water eg old plant pots that collect rainwater
  • Keep your gutters clear
  • If you have a pond consider installing a small fountain or pump, as mosquitoes usually won’t lay eggs in moving water