Q&A: Answers to your questions about the rules of France’s second lockdown

Are socially distanced walks allowed? Can you run errands several times in one day? We have answered some of your questions on what's allowed and what's forbidden during this confinement.

Q&A: Answers to your questions about the rules of France's second lockdown
Parisians will be back to running around their blocks in November, as the 1km rule has entered into effect again. Photo: AFP

Is there a limit on how many times a day you can leave the house (e.g. laundry, food shop, walk?) 

During lockdown this spring, the French government stressed that outings should be limited to once a day. That means that in theory you should not go grocery shopping on the same day that you go for a run, for example. 

The aim of confinement is to drastically reduce the number of people outside their homes to reduce the chances of the virus spreading.

Having said that there is nothing to stop you if you need to go to the shops to pick up groceries after having returned from a run. You'll just need another attestation.

Those with pets in the need of fresh air should, according to the government, take turns within the household. Obviously, those living alone will have to step outside more than once a day to walk their dog. 

Can you tick more than one option of the permission form?

Our answer to this question is based on a similar question posed back in spring.


Given the request to not leave the home more than once each day there was much confusion as to whether you had to choose between doing your groceries or going for a brief jog, or if on the contrary you could pop by the boulangerie after having taken the dog out for a walk.

READ ALSO:Attestations: The three permission forms you need to leave your home in France


As it turns out, you may indeed run several errands at the same time. Ticking off more than one of the boxes on your form is not prohibited, as French Daily Libération’s fact checking service CheckNews reported in spring. 

CheckNews put the question to the French Interior Ministry, who said that, to reduce the total number of going outs, ticking several boxes on the permission slip was possible.

Le Parisien reported the Interior Ministry in fact had outlined that ticking more than one box and thereby grouping different errands was better than leaving home several times. 

Do I only have an hour to do my shopping?

No, the hour limit is only for exercise or walking the dog. And the same goes for the one kilometre limit – in other words it doesn't apply to shopping.

Can you go for socially distanced walks with people? 

Only individual physical activity is allowed. That means that you can go for a walk by yourself, or with people who belong to your own household. As with grocery shopping or other errands, your household is the exception to the rule. You are not, however, allowed to meet up with friends or family from outside that household.

If they bring in a curfew on daytime exercise again will they lift the nighttime curfew or will we just be stuck inside 24/7? 

For the moment, there has been no talk about a daytime ban on exercise again. We don’t know if such a ban has been considered.

One of the grey areas since the lockdown was imposed is does the curfew time of 9pm still apply in areas on high alert?

The government has not made this explicitly clear but it seems the stricter measures of confinement override the curfew. If you need to leave the house after 9pm you can, but you'll need to justify it on the attestation.

Is cycling allowed? Without wearing masks? 

In spring, the government banned cycling as a form of exercise completely, bar a few exceptions.

This time no such ban has been mentioned, however all physical activity is limited to a distance of 1km from the home, meaning that your bike ride might be less enjoyable than usual. The exception is of course those who have to go to work, they will be able to bike further than that.

The rules on mask-wearing have not changed and cyclists and joggers do not need to wear masks in Paris. However some local authorities did oblige joggers to wear masks so it's worth checking the rules in your local area.

Is there any requirement of special documents from schools for pick & drop?

To take children to school you just need to tick the box on the “attestation de déplacement dérogatoire” (exemption certificate).

For children who make their own way to school they need the special certificate stamped by the school. This only needs to be done once and not filled out everyday like the “attestation de déplacement dérogatoire”.

READ ALSO Attestations: The three permission forms you need in France to leave your home

Can you meet with neighbours in your own apartment block?

The simple answer is no. That's the point of the confinement. There's not allowed to be any mixing among households even those who live on the same floor in the same apartment block.

What are 'imperative family reasons'?

According to various government messages in recent months “imperative family reasons” cover incidents such as a death in the family, or an injury or illness.

Helping relatives in urgent need is allowed, but visiting family members to check they are OK is not.

Can I move house during the new lockdown?

“Moving house will also be authorised (…), obviously with proof from the removal company, during this period of confinement,” said the Prime Minister.

Proof of purchase of the house, or some other official document should be enough.

However there are conditions for example you won't be able to move with the help of your friends if you had been planning to.

Can my cleaner or nanny still come to my house?

“All businesses that are not administratively closed must be able to continue to operate as normally as possible. (…) It will obviously be the same for all healthcare professionals, those in personal service, in particular home help or childcare “, said the PM on Thursday.

Can I go for a job interview?


If your job interview cannot be done online, you may use the work attestation and declare that you are leaving your home for such a purpose.

If you have any further questions please email [email protected]





Member comments

  1. I have a vet appointment for my cat in November – a follow-up vaccination (#2 of 2) …. are vet offices still open ? Do I used the “medical” reason on the attestation ?

  2. Most vets are open Nicolle but if they deem that the vaccination is not life threatening they will delay it.

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France scraps compulsory self-isolation after positive Covid test

France's public health body outlined how Covid-19 rules changed starting on February 1st, including an end to compulsory self-isolation after a positive test result.

France scraps compulsory self-isolation after positive Covid test

Starting on February 1st, Covid rules relaxed in France as the country brought an end to compulsory isolation for those who test positive for the virus.

However, those travelling from China to France will still be required to agree to a random screening upon arrival and to isolate in the case of a positive Covid-19 test result. Travellers aged 11 and over coming from China must also provide a negative test result (less tan 48 hours) prior to boarding and those aged six and over must agree to wear a mask on board flights. These regulations – which was set to last until January 31st – is set to remain in place until February 15th.

The French public health body (The Direction générale de la santé or DGS)  announced the change on Saturday in a decree published in the “Journal Officiel” outlining the various ways the body will loosen previous coronavirus restrictions.

READ MORE: What Covid rules and recommendations remain for visiting France?

Those who were in contact with someone who tested positive – ie a contact cases – will also no longer be required to take a test, though the public health body stressed that both testing after contact and isolating after receiving a positive test remain recommended.

Previously, even asymptomatic people who had been in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 were required to test on the second day after being notified that they were a “contact-case”.

These changes took effect on February 1st.

READ MORE: What changes in France in February 2023?

The DGS also said that website SI-DEP, which records test results, will remain in operation until June 30th, however starting in February it will only collect personal data with the express permission of the patient.

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Additionally, the French government announced that sick leave procedures for people with Covid-19 would return to normal starting February 1st – this means that those who test positive for Covid-19 now also have the three-day wait period before daily sick benefits are required to be paid, as is usually the case. Previously, people with Covid-19 could expect daily sick benefits to begin at the start of their sick leave period (arrêt maladie in French).  

READ MORE: How sick leave pay in France compares to other countries in Europe

Covid tests are still available on walk-in basis from most pharmacies are are free to people who are fully vaccinated and registered in the French health system. Unvaccinated people, or visitors to France, have to pay up to a maximum of €22 for an antigen test of €49 for a PCR test. 

If you recently tested positive for Covid-19 in France – or you suspect you may have contracted Covid-19 – you can find some information for how to proceed here.

In explaining the changes that began at the start of February, the French public health body also noted a drop in Covid-19 infections in the past month. As of January 30th, approximately 3,800 people in France had tested positive in the previous 24 hours for the coronavirus – which represents a decrease from the averages of 20,000 new cases per day about one month ago.