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How France’s curfew rules will work this summer

France has been under a strict night-time curfew since December 2020 and although the country is now gradually reopening, curfew restrictions remain. Here's what you need to know if you intend to be in France this summer.

How France's curfew rules will work this summer
Police check of permission forms for post-curfew travel. Photo: Philippe Lopez/AFP

Like the rest of the reopening plan, there is a phased relaxation of the curfew, with several key dates to look out for.

IN DETAIL: France’s calendar for reopening from lockdown

May 19th – curfew moves from 7pm to 9pm, so restrictions on movements will be in place from 9pm to 6am.

The later phases of France’s reopening are dependent on the health situation, but if things go to plan the following will happen:

June 9th – curfew moves back again to 11pm-6am.

June 30th – curfew is scrapped altogether.

Bars, restaurants, cafés, shops and other public spaces are naturally obliged to abide by the curfew, so will close at or shortly before the curfew time in place.

For private individuals, being out after curfew time is basically banned so you need to make sure you are indoors by curfew time.

Exceptions

There are some accepted reasons for being out, however. They are:

  • 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.

If you are out after curfew time, you will need an attestation (permission form) stating your reasons for being out. You can find the form HERE, or on the Covid-tracker app TousAntiCovid.

Travel

So what’s the situation if you are travelling?

The curfew rules do have an exception for travel – but only certain types. If you are travelling by public transport – train, bus, plane – and it arrives after curfew time then that is allowed and you are fine to travel onwards to your final destination from the station/airport.

However you will need an attestation and you will also need to keep your tickets in case of a police check.

If you are travelling by car then there is no curfew exemption and you will have to either time your journey to arrive before curfew, or stop off overnight and complete your journey in the morning.

Public transport services such as city buses and the Paris Metro do run after curfew times, but with a limited service so except to wait longer for a bus or train.

Overnight stays

The curfew rules say only that you cannot be outdoors after curfew time, so there is nothing to stop you staying over at a friend or family member’s house, or booking into a hotel for the night.

Penalties

People caught outside after curfew 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.

READ ALSO Frenchman jailed for repeatedly breaking curfew

Member comments

  1. They started vaccination slow, they open up slow. I wonder how long the goverment is able to inforce stupid rules like ‘not allowed to drive your car from A to B during the night’ even when you are vaccinated, before people get fed up being treated like toddlers. Not allowed to think for yourself! Scare mongering at this stage as the old and vunerable are no longer at risk, and if they are they are well aware how to prevent infection.

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For members

COVID-19

Where in France do you still need a face mask?

In France, masks will no longer be required on indoor transport as of Monday, May 16th. Here are rules and recommendations that are still in place:

Where in France do you still need a face mask?

Members of the public in France have been asked to wear face masks for the most part of two years, at times even outside in the street.

Since March 14th, 2022, the facial coverings have no longer been mandatory in most establishments such as shops, and as of Monday, May 16th, it will no longer be mandatory on indoor public transport. 

As of May 16th, you will therefore no longer be required to wear a mask in the following transports:

  • Buses and coaches
  • Subways and streetcars
  • RER and TER
  • TGV and interregional lines
  • Taxis

Regarding airplanes whether or not you must wear a mask is a bit more complicated.

On Wednesday, May 11th, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced that from May 16th onward it would no longer be required to wear a mask in airports and on board aircraft in the European Union. However, Germany has stated that it does not have the intention of lifting its requirement of wearing a mask on its airlines – this would include the Lufthansa airline. Thus, it will be necessary for passengers to still very to rules each airline has in place, which could be the case when travelling to a country that still has indoor mask requirements in place.

EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky specified that vulnerable people should continue to wear masks, and that “a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, to reassure those seated nearby.”

Masks still obligatory in medical settings

However, it will still be mandatory for caregivers, patients and visitors in health care facilities, specifically including hospitals, pharmacies, medical laboratories, retirement homes, and establishments for the disabled. 

For people who are vulnerable either due to their age or their status as immunocompromised, wearing a mask will continue to be recommended, though not required, particularly for enclosed spaces and in large gatherings.

Masks are also still recommended for people who test positive, people who might have come in contact with Covid-19, symptomatic people and healthcare professionals.

Will masks come back?

It is possible. French Health Minister Olivier Véran does not exclude the return of mandatory mask-wearing, should the health situation require it.

What are the other Covid-19 restrictions that remain in place?

The primary restriction that has not changed is the French government’s regulation for testing positive: If you are unvaccinated and test positive, isolation is still required for 10 days, if you are vaccinated, this requirement is seven days. Isolation can be reduced from 10 to 7 days or from 7 to 5 days if a negative covid test is performed, and symptoms are no longer present.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What Covid restrictions remain in place in France?

The French Health Ministry still recommends following sanitary measures such as: wearing a mask in places where it is still mandatory, hand washing, regular ventilation of rooms, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and using a single-use handkerchief (tissue).

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