Reader question: Do I have to leave work early during France’s 6pm curfew?

Reader question: Do I have to leave work early during France's 6pm curfew?
Police enforcing the curfew in Paris. Photo: AFP
In France it's not uncommon for offices and other workplaces to stay open until 7pm, but does the 6pm curfew mean people will have to leave early?

Question: Now that the 6pm-6am curfew is in place does that mean I have to leave work early in order to be home by 6?

On Saturday, January 16th, France tightened its curfew rules and brought in a nationwide 6pm to 6am curfew. Between those hours everyone must stay home, with only a few reasons accepted for being outside during those times. 

So does this mean everyone has to leave work early in order to be home by 6pm?

Well, it depends on where you work.

Shops and other businesses open to the public, such as hairdressers, must close by 6pm under the new rules. Restaurants are still able to offer takeout services after 6pm, but these must be for delivery only.

However businesses that are not open to the public may stay open later and offices can continue to work until their traditional closing time of 7pm – although the recommendation to work from home if possible remains in place.

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One of the reasons for being out during curfew is 'working or travelling to or from work' – this covers people working night shifts, but also people who are heading home from a day's work.

Crèches and other childcare facilities can also remain open after 6pm to accommodate parents who are working late.

However – if you are working or travelling home from work after 6pm you will need an attestation permission form stating your reason for being out. You can find the attestation HERE or on the TousAntiCovid app.

Public transport will continue running after 6pm; but some services are likely to be scaled down in the weeks to come as passenger numbers fall.

And obviously, doing some shopping on the way home from work will not be possible, since the shops shut at 6pm.

For more on the curfew rules, click HERE.

Member comments

  1. You are also requested to quarantine at home on your return for 7 days then have another PCR test. Links between articles on this site will lead you to latest explanations of these rules ongoing. Forgot to say you have to fill put a “derogation” for your international travel inwards – do it on your phone – I would guess you come into the urgent family reasons category.

  2. Yes with a PCR test done within 72hrs of boarding your transport to return. Bring document copies showing residence / marriage, ideally

  3. Hello, I am a British Citizen but I have permanent residenxt in France as I am married to a french citizen. I am currently in the UK but wish to return home to my husband. The new announcements tonight about the travel ban and urgent travel only, am I permitted to return or not? Kind regards, debbie

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