As schools reopen, what else changes now France has entered ‘phase 3’ of lockdown?

Schools reopen fully from June 22nd. Photo: AFP
On Monday, June 22nd, France officially entered phase 3 of the gradual loosening of the lockdown rules, so what changes?

Although June 22nd was originally the date for the beginning of phase 3 of lockdown, in fact some of the measures associated with it were introduced early after a better-than-expected health situation.

IN NUMBERS What is the coronavirus situation in France now?

All children have to return to school from Monday. Photo: AFP

But there are still a few changes due to take effect on Monday.

Schools return fully

From Monday all children must once again attend school full time. France's schools were closed on March 16th, the day before the country went into lockdown, and then began to gradually reopen from May 11th.

However, strict hygiene rules and class size limits meant that many pupils were only attending part time, while other parents opted to continue home schooling.

From Monday the physical distancing rules have been relaxed and the 4 sqm space requirement per pupil has been scrapped, along with the 15-pupil limit on class sizes (or 10 for nurseries).

Until now sending children back to school has been optional for parents, but from Monday the usual rules resume and it will be once again compulsory to either send children to school, or register with the local authority for home-schooling.

Cinemas reopen

Even as theatres and bars reopened, cinemas across France have remained shut. However this will change on Monday when they will be allowed to reopen, albeit with hygiene measures in place such as gaps between audience members and masks.

READ ALSO These are the health rules French cinemas must follow as they reopen

Demonstrations

Although the 10-person limit on social gatherings in public places remains in place – with the exception of funerals which now have no limit – from Monday demonstrations or protests of 5,000 people or less will be allowed again.

Participants must try to respect physical distancing rules and wear a mask if this is not possible.

The Black Lives Matter protests that have taken place across France began when there was still a ban on large demos, but the Interior Minister decided to allow them to go ahead because of the strength of feeling on the issue.

Events with more than 5,000 people are not expected to be allowed before August 31st.

Distancing rules and compulsory masks remain in force on the Metro. Photo: AFP

Transport certificates

Even as lockdown was lifted, commuters in Paris who use public transport at rush hour have been obliged to have an attestation saying that their journey was essential.

This was a local measure brought in by Île-de-France transport authorities who first announced that it would be scrapped from June 22nd, then brought the date forward and scrapped the requirement on June 16th.

Wearing a mask is still compulsory on all public transport in France.

Introduced earlier

In his TV address to the nation on June 14th, president Emmanuel Macron brought forward several measures that had been scheduled to happen on June 22nd. 

That includeded republishing the green/orange map of France which shows the virus level in different parts of the country.

The latest map has only the overseas département of Mayotte in orange, while the whole of mainland France turned green.

This meant that in the Paris region, which had been an orange zone, bars, cafés and restaurants were permitted to reopen fully – indoor areas well as terraces.

Museums, tourist sites, gyms and swimming pools were also allowed to reopen from June 15th.

Also from June 15th, France reopened its borders to travellers from the EU, the UK and the Schengen zone.

READ ALSO The 10 lockdown rules that you still need to follow in France


  1. Still dont understand these protests being allowed. Does it mean if there are enough protestors any demonstration can take place. About time laws made are upheld and not made subject to government whims

  2. We are arranging a social distancing picnic with friends in our local park. What is the number of people allowed for such a gathering?

Become a Member to leave a comment.