Everyone in France who goes outdoors for any reason during its current lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic must print or download a form to fill in declaring their reason for leaving home.
Leaving home is only allowed for essential reasons, as defined on the attestation permission form.
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Police in the town of Lannion said that in the early hours of Saturday the man, 39, was found lurking behind a car by a police patrol and asked what he was doing.
“He explained that he was waiting for someone to 'smash their face in' and was carrying a flick knife, local police commander Daniel Kerdraon told AFP.
“He had the written form with his real name and the time he had left home – 10:15 pm. But we told him that the reason for going out was not valid.
“In his own way, he was trying to fulfil the letter of the law,” he added.
The man, who had been drinking, was detained overnight and released on Saturday morning with a mandatory €135 fine for breaking the lockdown rules, and another €150 fine for drunken behaviour.
“We showed him how to fill in the form properly and made clear that going out to 'beat someone up' is not a valid reason,” Kerdraon said.
The man will be questioned again on Monday for carrying a weapon.