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What changes about life in France in December 2020?

What changes about life in France in December 2020?
Photo: AFP/ Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
A lot of lockdown changes, some holidays and a rise in utility bills are just some of what changes in France in December 2020.

Lockdown will (hopefully) end..

On December 15th the French government will ease lockdown further, although this will only happen if the number of new Covid-19 cases stay below the threshold of 5,000 per day.

If so, it will mean the end to attestations forms for outings and meeting with family and friends will again be allowed, along with a list of other measures. Full details here.

.. although a curfew comes into effect

Instead of lockdown the government will install a nationwide nighttime curfew on December 15th, which will prohibit leaving the home between 9pm and 7am.

 

 

READ ALSO Macron lays out three-stage ending of France's lockdown

.. but there will be Christmas holiday breaks

The 24th and 31st of December will both be exempt from the curfew rules. Going out later than 9pm will not be forbidden on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve, however the government will not allow large public gatherings and bars, restaurants, cafés and nightclubs will be staying closed until January 20th.

READ ALSO Calendar: The next key dates in France's plan to end lockdown

If all goes to plan, cinemas will be able to reopen on December 15th along with theatres and museums, albeit under strict health rules. Photo: AFP

We all get some bank holidays

Christmas Day, December 25th, falls on a Friday this year, which means we all get a long weekend as the 25th is a bank holiday in France.

The same goes for the weekend after, as New Year's Eve will be on a Thursday, meaning the 1st of January is a Friday, so those who enjoy that extra glass of wine on the big day will have the whole weekend to recover from the headache.

Schools take Christmas holidays

All French schools will go on a joint break from December 19th until January 4th.

Some will celebrate a special Christmas festival

Inhabitants in Alsace-Lorraine, north-east France, will be celebrating Saint Nicolas Day on December 6th, a day for family and indulging in gingerbread.

READ ALSO: The extra festival that some of France celebrates in December

Black Friday 

On December 4th France will be holding a delayed Black Friday. Usually Black Friday is held the day after Thanksgiving, but French businesses including Amazon agreed to postpone the big bargain day until shops had been allowed to reopen.

Gas prices rise again

For the fifth time in a row, household gas will get more expensive in France.  

On December 1st, gas prices in France will increase by 2.4 percent on average, according to the French Energy Regulation Commission (CRE).

The increase will be by 0.6 percent on average for households depending on gas for cooking, 2.5 percent for those using gas for heating and 1.4 percent for households that tick both boxes.

Prices on gas in private homes have risen since August, after falling for months.

France rolls out 5G

Phone operators are preparing for the first 5G network roll-outs in France, which will only concern a dozen cities or so in the first round.

The government has allowed ski resorts to reopen for the holidays, although ski lifts must keep closed. Photo: AFP

Changing health insurance gets easier

Starting in December, those who wish to change their mutuelle health insurance no longer have to wait until the end date of their contract, but will be able to do so at any moment following the one-year mark of their subscription. 

This is to make mutuelles more transparent and increase competition.

READ ALSO:
 
No more fixed gas prices for small businesses
 
As of December 1st, small businesses owners and the self-employed who until now have benefited from fixed gas prices will have to get their own subscription. The French ministry of ecology made this decision this spring to open up for more competition.
 
Private households will have to do the same in June 2023.
 
Last call to change your tax declaration
 
If you made a mistake or need to alter last year's tax declaration, you may do so until December 8th without incurring a penalty. Changes can be made through your personal account on the French government's tax website (link here).

 
 
Some will get a Christmas grant
 
Those on low-income schemes such as Allocation de Solidarité Spécifique (ASS), Allocation Equivalente Retraite (AER) or Revenu de Soliarité Active (RSA) will be eligible for a Christmas grant that will arrive between December 11th and 14th.
 
The grants vary in size and can go up to €152.45 max for a single adult without children and €442.10 max for a family with four children. 
 
Brexit transition period ends
 
This is a big one for British nationals living in France. December 31st officially will mark the end of the Brexit transition period, which means a series of changes will enter into effect on key areas such as residency, healthcare and travel.
 
 
Head to our Dealing with Brexit section for full updates.
 
 
 

 


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