France extends curfew to cover half the country as Covid-19 situation worsens

France has extended its nighttime curfew to 54 départements - roughly half of the country - as the Prime Minister says the health situation 'continues to deteriorate'.

France extends curfew to cover half the country as Covid-19 situation worsens
Prime minister Jean Castex announced the extension of the curfew. Photo: AFP

For the past week the whole of the greater Paris Île-de-France region and the metropoles of Lille, Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Grenoble, Aix-Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen and Toulouse have been the subject of a 9pm to 6am curfew.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that this measure would be extended to cover 38 new départements, starting at midnight on Friday/Saturday.

The new rules will cover a total of 54 of France's 96 mainland départements – and approximately 46 million people – and will continue for the next six weeks.

MAP: These are the areas of France under curfew


Castex said: “Let’s say it clearly, the situation is serious. It’s serious in France and in Europe.

“These past days the situation has continued to deteriorate.

“The number of cases has trebled over the past week and the number of deaths continue to rise.”

The rules for the curfew in the new zones will be the same as those already in place in Paris and other cities – people only allowed out of their homes for essential reasons between 9pm and 6am and every trip out of the home during that period requiring a permission form.

READ ALSO What you need to know about France's new nighttime curfew 

During the first week of curfew, Castex said that 32,033 police checks had been made and 4,777 fines issued.

The fine for breaching curfew is €135, rising to €3,750 for repeat offenders.

Castex added: “If we do not collectively succeed in curbing the epidemic, we will have to take tougher measures.

“We still have time to avoid that, but there is not much time left.”

The full list of départements concerned are; Loire, Rhône, Nord, Paris, Isère, Hauts-de-Seine, Val-d'Oise, Val-de-Marne, Seine-Saint-Denis, Essonne, Bouches-du-Rhône, Haute-Garonne, Yvelines, Hérault, Seine-et-Marne, Seine-Maritime, Haute-Loire, Ain, Savoie, Ardèche, Saône-et-Loire, Aveyron, Ariège, Tarn-et-Garonne, Tarn, Pyrénées-Orientales, Gard, Vaucluse, Puy-de-Dôme, Hautes-Alpes, Pas-de-Calais, Drôme, Oise, Haute-Savoie, Jura, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Haute-Corse, Calvados, Hautes-Pyrénées, Corse-du-Sud, Lozère, Haute-Vienne, Côte-d'Or, Ardennes, Var, Indre-et-Loire, Aube, Loiret, Maine-et-Loire, Bas-Rhin, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Marne, Alpes-Maritimes and Ille-et-Vilaine.

New anti-Covid app

The government also relaunched their Covid-19 app as TousAntiCovid, developed after the former app – StopCovid – flopped.

StopCovid was “not downloaded enough times to be an effective tool in the fight against the coronavirus,” Digital Affairs Secretary Cedric O said. “It was a missed opportunity.”

“This is only useful if a lot of people use it,” he said, urging all French to download the relaunched app as a “supplementary health barrier gesture” to protect them from the virus.

“If you have crossed paths with a person who is infected with the virus and both of you have the app, you will be alerted as soon as that person receive their test results,” he said.

For more details on how to find the app and how it works – click here.


Member comments

  1. A curfew isn’t going to do it. Travel restrictions should be brought back in but Macron is just to afraid. Parisians have just arrived in my village for the school holidays, so a curfew in Paris is not working fine for us living in an area with few cases.

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New Covid wave in autumn ‘virtually certain’ say French experts

The head of the government's new health advisory body says that a surge of Covid cases when the French head back to work after the summer break is virtually certain.

New Covid wave in autumn 'virtually certain' say French experts

Immunologist Brigitte Autran, president of new government health advisory body the Comité de veille et d’anticipation des risques sanitaires (Committee to monitor and anticipate health risks) which has replaced the Conseil scientifique, told Le Parisien that “the Covid epidemic is not behind us” and said that the French would have to get used to “living with” the virus.

The Covidtracker website currently shows that the virus is in decline across France, with the R-rate currently at 0.7 – any figure lower than one indicates that the number of infections is falling.

Autran, whose appointment as head of the new body was confirmed on Wednesday, said that the most likely scenario was for a “new epidemic peak in the autumn”, when people return to work after the summer holidays.

“Will it be due to a new variant or the return of cold weather?” she said. “We are not soothsayers, but it is almost certain that there will be a wave.”

“Today, we must go towards living with it,” she added, reintroducing the French to an expression previously used by President Emmanuel Macron and several ministers.

“This does not mean accepting the deaths or the severity of the disease,” she went on, pointing to the fact that health authorities in France still have “levers to activate” to fight the virus. 

Despite the fact that nearly 80 percent (79.6 percent) of people over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated against the virus, she said that, “unfortunately there are still too many people who have not been vaccinated or revaccinated.”

And she said the new body would work with the government to improve the public’s access to drugs, such as Paxlovid, and vaccines.

Vaccination is still open to anyone who has not yet had their shots, while a second booster shot is on offer to certain groups including over 60s, pregnant women, those with health conditions or people who are in close contact with vulnerable people.

EXPLAINED Who qualifies for a second Covid vaccine booster shot in France?

The French government in August voted to end to State of Emergency that allowed it to impose measures like travel bans and lockdowns, although further restrictions could be put in place if cases rise again and parliament agrees.