EXPLAINED: What are the rules of France’s nationwide curfew?

The whole of France is under curfew, so here's how it works including the eight reasons that allow you to be outside your home.

EXPLAINED: What are the rules of France's nationwide curfew?
Photos: AFP

The curfew came into force across the country on Saturday, January 16th and remains in place until further notice.

It was initially 6pm to 6am, but on Saturday, March 20th it was pushed back by one hour to 7pm to 6am.

In general people should not be out of their homes at all between those and any trip out of the house during those hours will require an attestation (permission form) listing your reason for being out. The areas of France on ‘lockdown light’ revert to curfew rules after 7pm. 

You can find the “exemption form” HERE and it is also available on the TousAntiCovid app.

People caught outside without a form, or people outside for any other than the permitted reasons, face a fine.

The fine is €135 for the first offence, €200 for a second offence and rising to a maximum of €3,750 and a six month jail term for three offences within 30 days.

There are 8 accepted reasons for being outside the home after 7pm

  • Work, teaching and training – travel between home and work or place of education.
  • Doctors’ appointments and treatments – travel to the doctors of for treatment “which cannot be done remotely”.
  • Urgent family reasons such as caring for a vulnerable or infirm relative or for childcare (family visits are not included in this category)
  • Disabilities – Travel for those with disabilities or their carers
  • Service of “general interest” – travel for services of general interest at the request of the authorities.
  • Transport (for example journeys by train or plane – you will need to show a ticket as a reason to break curfew)
  • To answer an official legal summons or take part in an official administrative process 
  • Walking the dog within a maximum radius of one kilometre from home.

Victims of domestic violence can also leave their homes if they don’t feel safe. There is also a hotline – 3919 – that people can call for help, in addition to the police emergency number 17.

Some clarifications have been issued:

  • Shops and businesses open to the public must close by 7pm, but other people are permitted to work later or travel home from work later.
  • Collecting children from school or crèche after 7pm is allowed
  • Having a delivery to your home is allowed (so you can order takeaway for dinner but you cannot go out to collect your order).
  • Public transport continues to run after 7pm, although some services have been scaled back

Member comments

  1. So for “travel between home and work or place of education.”, how is it that you can prove that you’re going home from work? For the “transport” reason you need to show a ticket, but for this you just show your navigo or what? My work has already said “Nous n’avons pas besoin d’attestation spécifique pour les déplacements professionnels”, so it’s up to you to prove you’re on your way home in the unlikely event that you actually get stopped?

  2. So I will be visiting my son in the Rhone valley next week, an 8 hour drive. When I return do I have to leave so as to be home by 7pm curfew or so long as I don’t get out of the car after 7pm can I arrive back home later under the “transport” exception? Will I need to fill out an attestation?

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Experts warn of high levels of flu in France this winter

Experts have warned of a particularly bad flu epidemic this winter in France due to a combination of lowered immune systems and 'vaccine apathy' - urging high-risk groups to get their shot as soon as the flu vaccination campaign begins in October.

Experts warn of high levels of flu in France this winter

France’s annual flu vaccine campaign will officially get under way on October 18th this year – and medical experts have warned that this year’s season may be a bad one amid fears of “vaccine apathy”.

When, where and how to get flu shots and Covid boosters in France this autumn

Immunologist Alain Fischer, who chaired France’s Conseil d’orientation de la stratégie vaccinale throughout the Covid-19 pandemic said that the high number of flu cases in Australia and the southern hemisphere in its winter were “a warning sign” that this winter’s flu, coupled with rising cases of Covid-19, could lead to a sharp rise in hospitalisations again in the winter.

“For two years, influenza has been kept at bay, thanks to the barrier measures we have put in place against Covid,” he told Le Parisien. 

“This year, it will be difficult to maintain the same level of protection: masks, distancing, intensive hand washing … Faced with this relaxation, there is a serious risk of flu epidemic.”

Between two million and six million people contract flu every winter in France. The infection is responsible for between 4,000 and 6,000 deaths every year, usually among people aged 65 and over. But in ‘bad’ flu years, that mortality figure can rise rapidly.

READ ALSO When, where and how to get flu shots and Covid boosters this autumn in France

The country, meanwhile, is at the start of what is being described as an “eighth wave” of Covid, and the Haute Autorité de santé recommends the eligible, vulnerable people ensure they are vaccinated against both viruses as early as possible. “A Covid-flu cohabitation is not a good thing,”  Fischer said. “It is synonymous with a very high number of hospitalisations. 

“Hence the objective of two strong vaccination campaigns – Covid and flu – especially for the most vulnerable.”

“The double injection is very good, and practical for patients. But I think that we should not wait, especially vulnerable people. It is a mistake to think that you will get your Covid booster when the flu vaccine is here – the Covid jab should not be delayed.”

Currently less than 40 percent of people eligible for a fourth Covid vaccine have received their latest dose.

Dual-strain Covid-19 vaccines designed to combat both delta and omicron variants will be available in France from October 3rd.

READ ALSO France approves new vaccines for Covid Omicron sub-variants

“It is quite possible to get your Covid injection in early October and flu vaccine in late October – you will need both anyway,” Fischer said.

The Haute Autorité de Santé recommends influenza vaccination for the following groups:

  • people aged 65 and over; 
  • people with chronic diseases; 
  • pregnant women;
  • people suffering from obesity (BMI equal to or greater than 40 kg/m 2 );
  • Infants under 6 months at risk of serious influenza;
  • Families and others close to immunocompromised people; 
  • home help workers caring for vulnerable individuals.

For anyone in these groups, the flu vaccine is 100 percent covered by health insurance and delivered free of charge to the pharmacy, on presentation of a voucher.