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On the agenda: What’s happening in France this week?

Here's what is happening in France on the week beginning May 3rd.

On the agenda: What's happening in France this week?
President Emmanuel Macron will preside over commemorations for VE Day. Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP

Monday, May 3rd

Beginning of phase 1 of the lifting of lockdown, when the 10km rule is scrapped and attestations are no longer needed for journeys during the day.

IN DETAIL The calendar for reopening France after lockdown 

Secondary schools and high schools (collèges and lycées) return to in-person classes after a week of online learning following the rescheduled Easter holidays. School principals have the option of retaining up to 50 percent of distance learning for pupils at lycée or in the older age groups at collège.

The Covid vaccination programme is now open to all adults suffering from a long-term medical condition including diabetes, hypertension or a BMI of 30 or above. Find full details HERE.

Train operator SNCF launches a summer sale with 5 million rail tickets from €39. 

Tuesday, May 4th

Vote of French MPs on the wide-ranging climate bill that is making its way through parliament.

Wednesday, May 5th

Nationwide day of industrial action and demonstrations by midwives, who are involved in a dispute over pay. The action is scheduled for International Midwives’ Day.

200th anniversary of the death of Napoleon, marked by a ceremony at Les Invalides in Paris, attended by president Emmanuel Macron.

Thursday, May 6th

Weekly update from the French health ministry on the latest Covid situation. Phases two, three and four of the reopening plan depends on the latest health data, with the possibility of a delayed reopening in areas where numbers remain high.

MAP: Where in France has the highest Covid rates?

Saturday, May 8th

Victory in Europe Day. This is usually a public holiday in France, but unfortunately falls on a Saturday this year, meaning no extra day off. Normally marked by large military parades and wreath-laying, this year will see scaled-down events, with Emmanuel Macron presiding over remembrance in Paris.

READ ALSO The French holiday calendar 2021

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France to roll out ID cards app

Technology is being rolled out to allow people to carry their French ID cards in an app form - and could be rolled out to other cards, including driving licences and cartes de séjour residency cards.

France to roll out ID cards app

Holders of French carte d’identité (ID cards) will soon be able to carry certified digital versions of them on their smartphone or other electronic devices, a decree published in the Journal Officiel has confirmed.

An official app is being developed for holders of the newer credit card-format ID cards that have information stored on a chip. A provisional test version of the app is expected at the end of May.

Users will be able to use the ID card app, when it becomes available, for a range of services “from checking in at the airport to renting a car”, according to Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.

All French citizens have an ID card, which can be used for proving identity in a range of circumstances and for travel within the EU and Schengen zone – the new app will be in addition to the plastic card that holders already have.

Under the plans, after downloading the app, card holders will need merely to hold the card close to their phone to transfer the required information. According to officials, the holder then can decide what information is passed on – such as proof of age, or home address – according to the situation.

The government has not given any examples of situations in which the app would need to be used, but has set out the main principles and the ambition of the plan: to allow everyone to identify themselves and connect to certain public and private organisations, in particular those linked to the France Connect portal.

READ ALSO What is France Connect and how could it make your life simpler?

Cards will continue to be issued for the foreseeable future – this is merely an extension of the existing system.

Only French citizens have ID cards, but if successful the app is expected to be rolled out to include other cards, such as driving licences, cartes de séjour residency cards or even visas. A digital wallet is being developed at the European level – Member States have until September to agree what it could contain.

READ ALSO Eight smartphone apps that make life in France a bit easier