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COVID-19

Can you tick more than one box on the attestation during France’s second lockdown?

Can you pop by the shop on your way back from a morning run, and, if so, how long do you have to do your groceries? Here's a look at the rules regarding the number of errands you can run at the time during France's second confinement.

Can you tick more than one box on the attestation during France's second lockdown?
A pedestrian walks past the closed terrace of Les Deux Magots cafe on boulevard Saint-Germain, on the fourth day of a lockdown aimed at containing the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in Par

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.

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

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.

READ ALSO Having an affair, buying lemons and walking a snake: France's weirdest excuses for breaking lockdown

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.

 

Member comments

  1. we had 2 boxes checked on our form in the spring and got hassled by the police and told we could not do it.

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COVID-19

Return of the health pass? How France plans to tackle new wave of Covid cases

With a sharp rise in reported cases in recent weeks, France appears to be in the middle of a new wave of Covid infections - so what measures are the government taking to control it?

Return of the health pass? How France plans to tackle new wave of Covid cases

Recorded case numbers in France are now over 50,000 a week, and have been since the beginning of June – this is a long way short of the 350,000 weekly cases recorded in January but still the highest since May and representing a steady an increase of 57 percent on the previous week.

Hospital admissions are also on the rise – standing at 707 admissions on Friday, June 24th compared to 400 daily admissions just two weeks earlier.

So what is the French government doing about it?

Since March, almost all Covid-related restrictions have been lifted in France – the health pass is no longer required for everyday activities such as visiting a bar or going to the gym and face masks are now merely advised in all indoor locations. Only hospitals and other health establishments such as nursing homes still have mandatory rules on face masks and health passes.

For international travel, fully vaccinated arrivals from most countries – including the UK, US and the whole of the EU – need only to show proof of vaccination, while unvaccinated travellers need to show proof of a recent negative Covid test – full details HERE.

Health pass

A proposed bill from the health ministry that was leaked to French media talks about re-imposing some form of pass sanitaire (health pass) to get numbers under control.

Some caveats to add here is that the document is only a proposal at this stage and the government has explicitly rules out – for the moment – reintroducing the vaccine pass. The health pass can be used to show either proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid test, so it is less restrictive for the unvaccinated.

The document suggests re-introducing a health pass for travel – both to and from France – not for everyday activities like going to a café.

Testing and contact tracing

The bill also proposes extending the software involved in contact tracing and the Covid testing programme until March 2023, although this is described as a ‘precaution’.

Testing remains available on a walk-in basis at most French pharmacies and by appointment at health centres and medical labs. Tests are free for fully-vaccinated residents of France who have a carte vitale. Those are only visiting France, who are not registered in the French health system or who are not vaccinated have to pay – prices are capped at €22 for an antigen test and €54 for a PCR test.

READ ALSO How tourists in France can get a Covid test

Masks

The government’s Covid vaccine adviser Alain Fischer told France Info that he was in favour of making face masks compulsory on public transport again and said it is ‘being discussed” at government level.

At present masks are not required, but are recommended, especially on busy services where it is impossible to practice social distancing.

Epidemiologist Pascal Crépey said: “In crowded trains, the risk of being in the presence of infected people is high. It would be a good idea for the population to wear the mask, to protect especially the most fragile and avoid massive infection rates.”

Local measures

French local authorities also have the power to impose certain types of restrictions if their area has a particularly high rate of infections.

At present, none have done so, but Nice mayor Christian Estrosi has spoken in favour of possibly bringing back the vaccine pass over the summer.

Second booster shots

A second booster shot of the Covid vaccine is now available to all over 60s and anyone who has a long-term medical condition or who is otherwise at risk from Covid.

It is recommended that the government increase public messaging advising those in high risk groups to get the second booster shot. The medical regular HAS has advised combining second booster shots with the seasonal flu vaccine campaign in September and October.

France is not, at present, considering widening the campaign to the entire popular, but the EU’s vaccine commissioner Thierry Breton says that if necessary, there would be enough doses to cover the whole population.

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