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 went for a morning jog.
This led to some 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 shop after your morning run. If so, would all of this need to be done within the hour in order to respect the time limit for outdoor physical exercise?
It’s confusing, so bear with us.
When contacted by French media in spring, the interior ministry confirmed that it was not prohibited to tick more than one box when leaving the home.
On the contrary, they told Le Parisien, grouping errands during outings was encouraged if it meant going out less.
If you pop to the shop after dropping the kids off at school, that is allowed. You can even pass by the pharmacy and the boulangerie on your way over there – just remember to tick the right boxes on your permission slip.
If you combine a physical exercise outing with a shopping outing you also will not be bound by the 1 km, one hour-rule, as this only counts for individual physical exercise or walking the dog. Beware however that police officers frowned upon those whose “essential shopping” amounted to a carton of milk or some lemons during last confinement, so we would not encourage stretching the rules.
It's worth adding that neither the attestation permission slip nor the interior ministry’s website specifically state that outings must be limited to one a day.
That said, the goal of the lockdown is to reduce the total number of people outside at the time as much as possible.
How long lockdown lasts, and whether more severe measures are brought in, depends entirely on whether the pandemic can be brought under control in France – at present that is far from being the case, as health minister Olivier Véran warned over the weekend.
Current Covid-19 numbers in France, according to the health minister:
1 new positive every 2 sec
1 hospitalisation every 30 sec
1 death every 4 mins https://t.co/GoccG3XPkC
— Ingri Bergo (@ingribergo) October 31, 2020