MAP: Is your French département at risk of being placed under ‘lockdown light’?

Three départements have been added to the list of areas in France on 'lockdown light' and others could follow as the health minister warns of an 'extremely worrying' situation.

MAP: Is your French département at risk of being placed under 'lockdown light'?
Travel between regions on lockdown light is banned. Photo: THOMAS COEX / AFP

The areas of Rhône (including the city of Lyon), Nièvre and Aube were on Thursday added to the areas of France under extra restrictions as case numbers climb.

They join 16 départements, including the whole of the greater Paris region, which were placed under extra measures from Saturday, March 20th.

While the new lockdown measures are considerably more relaxed than those in the spring an autumn, non-essential shops closed, travel banned and socialising limited.

READ ALSO These are the rules in the parts of France on ‘lockdown light’

For the rest of France, life continues as before, and even got slightly easier as the curfew moved back one hour and now runs from 7pm-6am across the country.

However several areas are approaching the same conditions as the 19 under lockdown and risk extra restrictions.

The government has said it will base the decision on three factors; the number of cases per 100,000 of the population, the situation in local hospitals, in particular the intensive care occupancy rate and the speed of the growth in case numbers.

There are 12 départements at risk under this rating, all have passed the threshold of 250 cases per 100,000 people and many are reporting severe pressure on hospitals.

The 15 départements are; Bouches-du-Rhône (including Marseille) Doubs, Eure-et-Loir, Gard, Haute-Savoie, Yonne, Hautes-Alpes, Moselle, Orne, Pyrénées-Orientales and Var.

The tiny département of Territoire de Belfort on the Swiss border is also approaching the threshold, but as its small size means it has a lot of transit through it, it seems likely that extra measures here would be co-ordinated with its neighbouring areas.

However, being on the ‘at risk’ list does not necessarily mean a département will be placed under extra restrictions.

This time the government is making decisions on a case-by-case basis taking into account a range of local factors.

The next scheduled update on the overall health situation and restrictions is on Thursday, April 1st.

Member comments

  1. The only reason the département of Eure is in the Red Zone is because a lot of Parisians fled the capital to Vernon, taking the Covid-19 with them.

    But for them the provinces don’t matter.
    Living at the other end of Eure, our safe little town is rightly highly aggrieved.

    1. It’s way too early for last week’s population movements to show up in the infection statistics.

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High pollen counts predicted in France due to heatwave

Pollen from highly allergenic ragweed plant is expected to peak earlier this year, as a result of high temperatures.

High pollen counts predicted in France due to heatwave

Ragweed pollen (ambroisie) is expected to spread earlier this year across many parts of France, particularly in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.

The National Aerobiological Surveillance Network (NASN) announced on Tuesday that the Lyon region has reached a critical threshold of ragweed pollen in the air to begin causing allergic reactions in sensitive people. The peak for the concentration of pollen in the air is expected for the end of August, which would be in approximately 20 days.

While the risk of allergic reaction is highest in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes currently, particularly in areas like northern Isère, Drôme, Ardèche and southern Rhône, the plant has spread across different regions in France. Up to 15 percent of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes could experience some level of allergic reaction from the plant, as it is highly allergenic, according to Anses.

It can also be found in Burgundy, Franche-Comté, New Aquitaine, Occitanie, as well as the north of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.

However, in contrast, ragweed is typically neither found in the Northern and Western parts of the country, nor along the Mediterranean coast.

The high pollen counts are expected approximately one week early this year due to the high temperatures seasonal temperatures.

Ragweed pollen can cause runny noses, stinging eyes and even breathing difficulties in people with an allergy, said Samuel Monnier, engineer at the NASN, to BFMTV.

If you have a ragweed allergy, consider consulting a doctor or allergist to pre-empt or treat the symptoms, recommends Monnier. Residents in regions where the pollen count is high might also consider drying clothes inside rather than outside, in order to keep the pollen from sticking to clothing. 

The plant is considered particularly invasive, and many local authorities have put into place systems to remove it when spotted.  In order to report the presence of ragweed, you can go to the website or download the smartphone application “Signalement-Ambroisie.”

If you’re sensitive to pollen, you can keep up with the interactive pollen count maps across France by going to the website