Cafés, shops, cinemas: How France will ease Covid restrictions from next week

Cafés, shops, cinemas: How France will ease Covid restrictions from next week
Bars in Paris will soon be able to welcome back their customers. Photo: BERTRAND GUAY / AFP
French Prime Minister Jean Castex has laid out the fuller details of France's reopening plan, saying that the country is was "emerging on a long-term basis" from the Covid-19 crisis.

“I say it in the clearest way possible: we are finally in the process of emerging on a long-term basis from this health crisis,” Castex told French daily Le Parisien.

“Obviously this exit will take place in a progressive, careful and supported way. But the trend is clear, we are nearing the end and it’s good news.”

This is the government’s detailed reopening calendar:

May 19th

Bars and restaurants can reopen their outdoor terraces at a 50 percent capacity and with six people per table maximum. All customers must be seated. Indoor areas remain closed.

Hotels can reopen their outdoor café terraces too, while respecting health rules and with customers remaining seated. Their indoor restaurants may also reopen, but only for the people staying at their hotels.

Shops that closed during the partial lockdown can reopen, with a limit of one customer per 8 square metres. That means small shops of under 8 square metres can only receive one customer at the time.

Cinemas, theatres, concert halls and show rooms may reopen at a 35 percent capacity and an upper limit of 800 spectators for large establishments. This is only for sit-down events, standing ones remain banned.

Outdoor gatherings in public are limited to 10 people. 

Museums, exhibitions, guided tours and monuments can reopen with a limit of one person per 8 square metres and while respecting a health protocol (to be published).

Markets are limited to one customer per 8 square metres indoors and one per 4 square metres outside.

Outdoor sports establishments are again accessible to the public, but only up to 35 percent of their total capacity and 1,000 people max. Same for indoor establishments, but here the upper limit is 800 people. Sports clubs can organise contactless activities for anyone outdoors, but only for priority groups such as school children inside. When practising outside the upper limit on the number of participants is 10 people per group.

For outdoor sports competitions such as marathons, bike rides, surfing and similar, there won’t be any restrictions for professionals, but for amateurs there will be an upper limit of 50 participants at once. The public can again attend sporting events, but only while sitting down and at a 35 percent of the full capacity. Groups watching along the route of a competition such as a cycle race must respect the general rule limiting gatherings in public to 10 people. 

Outdoor sitting festivals can reopen at a 35 percent capacity and with an upper limit of 1,000 people in large spaces.

Libraries have remained open during lockdown but with a 8 square metre limit per person, which remains in place. Every other seat needs to be kept open.

Universities resume in-person activities at a 50 percent capacity and with a reinforced heath protocol. The 50 percent limit remains in place until the next semester in September. Establishments can organise exams in-person or virtually.

Religious ceremonies and marriages can go ahead, although guests can only fill one out of every three seats.

Outdoor funerals are limited to 50 people.

Casinos without any social contact such as game rooms can reopen at a 35 percent capacity. Establishments with activities that entail social contact (card games, roulette etc) remain closed.

Spas can also reopen for cures thermales – spa treatments prescribed by a doctor (yes, that is a thing in France and sometimes the State will even pay for it) – though while respecting a limit of 50 percent of their total capacity.

Zoos too can reopen at a 50 percent capacity.

Salons, standing festivals, bowling halls, game rooms and nightclubs remain closed. Boat cruises are banned.

June 9th

Bars and restaurants will be allowed to use 100 percent of their outdoor capacity, though the limit of six people per table remains in place. Indoor areas may reopen at a 50 percent capacity, also with six people maximum per table. All customers must be seated, service at the bar is prohibited.

Hotels are allowed to open up their indoor restaurants to anyone.

Shops can receive one customer per 4 square metres instead of 8.

Outdoor gatherings in public are limited to 10 people. 

Cinemas, theatres, concert halls and show rooms can fill up to 65 percent of their capacity with an upper limit of 5,000 spectators for large establishments. Standing events remain banned. Showing a health pass at the entry is obligatory for all events gathering more than 1,000 people. 

READ ALSO: France’s new vaccination certificates ‘first step’ towards health passport

Museums, exhibitions, tour guides and monuments see their limit on the number of entrants allowed in at the same time drop down to one person per 4 square metres.

The limit for customers allowed into indoor markets at once also drops down to one per 4 square metres and disappears for outdoor markets.

Outdoor sports establishments can fill up 65 percent of their total capacity with an upper limit of 5,000 people and a health pass required for events with over 1,000 people. Same rules apply for indoor establishments, but here the upper limit is 50 percent of the total capacity.

Sports clubs can again organise activities with contact outdoors and without contact indoors, the limit being 25 people.

For outdoor sports competitions such as marathons, bike rides, surfing and similar, the upper limit on amateur events increases to 500 participants. Members of the public can attend sporting events with up to 65 percent of the full capacity filled, only sitting down. 

Salons can reopen at a 50 percent capacity and with a health pass requirement at the entry for big events gathering more than 1,000 people.

Outdoor sitting festivals can fill up 65 percent of their capacity and with an upper limit of 5,000 people for large spaces. They have to respect the same health rules as bars, restaurants and hotels. Showing a health pass at the entry is obligatory for all events gathering more than 1,000 people. 

Libraries see their limit of 8 square metres per person drop down to 4 square metres. However every other seat needs to remain open.

Religious ceremonies and marriages are limited to every other seat instead of one in three.

Outdoor funerals are limited to 75 people.

Casinos are limited to a 50 percent capacity, both for activities with and without social contacts. Showing a health pass at the entry is obligatory for all events gathering more than 1,000 people. 

Bowling halls and game rooms can reopen at a 50 percent capacity and while respecting a health protocol. Establishments receiving more than 1,000 people have to require a health pass at the entry.

Spas can fully reopen.

Zoos are limited to a 65 percent capacity.

Standing festivals and nightclubs remain closed.Boat cruises are still banned.

June 30th

Bars and restaurants can reopen their indoor areas completely, though while respecting social distancing measures and other health rules. All customers must be seated, and bar service is prohibited.

The threshold for the number of customers allowed into shops disappears along with the one for indoor markets.

Cinemas, theatres, concert halls and show rooms are allowed to use their full capacity and the upper limit of 5,000 people disappears. It will again be possible to organise standing events such as concerts, though with an upper limit on the number of people allowed in at the same time (to be confirmed). Showing a health pass at the entry remains obligatory for all events gathering more than 1,000 people.

Outdoor gatherings in are no longer limited to 10 people maximum.

Museums, exhibitions, tour guides and monuments also see their limit on the number of entrants allowed in at the same time disappear, but they still have to respect social distancing and other health measures.

All sports are allowed and there is no national limit on events inside or outside. Fixing a limit will be up to the regional authorities (préfet). There will still be a health pass requirement for gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

Outdoor amateur sports competitions such as marathons, bike rides, surf and similar, are limited to 2,500 participants maximum, with a health pass requirement for events of more than 1,000 people. As for the public, the limit changes to one person per 4 square metres for standing events and no limit for sitting down events, unless the préfet decides otherwise. The préfet will also set an upper limit for outdoor sitting events.

Outdoor standing festivals can reopen with a limit of 4 square metres per person and an upper limit on the total number of attendants, defined by regional authorities (the préfet). There will be a health pass requirement at the entry for events gathering more than 1,000 people.

Outdoor sitting festivals see their 65 percent limit replaced by another one defined by the préfet, depending on the local health situation. The health pass requirement at the entry for events of more than 1,000 people remains in place.

The rules limiting the number of people allowed into libraries at the same time disappears, along with the rule requiring that every other seat remains untaken. Social distancing and other health rules must still be respected.

Religious ceremonies and marriages can fill up all their seats and outdoor funerals can go ahead without an upper limit on attendants.

Salons can fully reopen, though still with a health pass requirement at the entry for big events gathering more than 1,000 people.

Casinos can fully reopen. Respecting health rules is mandatory and showing a health pass at the entry is obligatory for all events gathering more than 1,000 people.

Bowling halls and game rooms can also fill up 100 percent of their total capacity, while respecting the health protocol. Establishments receiving more than 1,000 people have to require a health pass at the entry. 

Zoos can fully reopen.

Boat cruises can resume their activity at full capacity, but also with a health pass requirement for big cruises hosting more than 1,000 people.

The government will review the closures of nightclubs and discos.


Member comments

  1. I didn’t see anything about vaccinated Americans being allowed in after June 9th.
    Is this still possible?

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