The northern French département of Pas-de-Calais has been placed on a weekend lockdown, while weekend lockdowns in Dunkirk, Nice and a stretch of the French Riviera encompassing 62 towns and communes have been extended for a third weekend.
So what are the rules if you live in one of those areas?
Broadly, this is similar to the second, less strict, lockdown that France saw in November and December.
In Nice, the Riviera and Dunkirk lockdown runs from 6pm on Friday to 6am on Monday. In Pas-de-Calais the measure begins at 8am on Saturday – so early risers can go out between curfew ending at 6am and lockdown starting at 8am.
In all areas the standard 6pm to 6am curfew remains in place during the week.
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Basically, there is a stay-home order in place. People are told to stay indoors and trips out are allowed only for vital reasons including work, grocery shopping, medical appointments and walking the dog (full details below).
What about exercise?
A trip out of the home for exercise on a Saturday or Sunday is allowed, with limits.
This must be individual exercise such as walking or jogging and must last no more than one hour per day. In a slight relaxation of earlier rules, people are allowed to venture up to 5km from their home, further than the 1km limit imposed in the autumn.
Are attestations back?
Yes, if you live in one of the affected areas and are leaving your home over the weekend you will need an attestation to show that your trip out is vital. This can be accessed HERE or via the TousAntiCovid app.
The attestation is now a combined form which can be used for either weekday trips out after curfew or weekend trips out in lockdown areas.
The full list of accepted reasons for being out are;
- Vital professional activity, education or training
- Medical appointments
- Vital family reasons such as taking care or a vulnerable person or child
- Vital trips out for disabled people their carers
- An administrative or judicial appointment
- Long-distance travel by train, bus or place which has arrived after curfew/lockdown time (keep your tickets with you in case of a police check)
- Brief trips out to walk the dog
The following are accepted reasons for weekends only, not for trips out after curfew
- Shopping for essential items, collecting or delivering ordered items
- Exercise – must be individual exercise lasting for no more than one hour, within 5km of your home
- Participation in an authorised gathering such as a religious service or permitted group activities in a public place
- Administrative or judicial appointments
What about the rest of France?
For people who don’t live in one of the affected départements, the rules stay the same, including the 6pm curfew.
However for people who live in one of 23 départements placed on heightened alert there are some extra measures in place.
These départements are; Haut-Alpes, Aisne and Aube, Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Drôme, Essonne, Eure et Loir, Hauts-de-Seine, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Moselle, Nord, Oise, Paris, Pas-de-Calais, Rhône, Seine-et-Marne, Seine-Saint-Denis, Somme, Val d’Oise, Val-de-Marne, Var and Yvelines
These extra measures are:
- Shops larger than 10,000 square metres will close
- Mask-wearing will become compulsory in the street in all areas where this is not already the case
- Local authorities will be asked to regulate or ban access to areas where large groups of people gather
People living in these areas are also asked, although not ordered, to limit their social contacts as far as possible and avoid travelling to a different département or region.
For anyone in a less badly affected area who was hoping for a relaxation of the rules, here is what Health Minister Olivier Véran told the French parliament this week: “We know that for another four to six weeks, whatever happens, we won’t lower the level of restrictions in France.”