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Curfew, bars, travel and health passports: What rules are in place in France right now?

Wednesday, June 9th marked the day that France moved into the third phase of lifting lockdown - here's what the new rules say.

Curfew, bars, travel and health passports: What rules are in place in France right now?
With curfew relaxed, nightlife can begin again in France. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP

Bars, cafés and restaurants can reopen indoor spaces – previously allowed to open only their terraces, bars and cafés can now reopen indoors as well, with a 50 percent limit on capacity and a maximum of 6 people per table. Anyone drinking or eating inside will have to provide their contact details and cafés are setting up QR codes that customers can scan.

READ ALSO QR codes and sign-ins – how France’s reopened restaurants will keep track of customers

There’s a change to outdoor areas too, as terraces will be able to operate at 100 percent of their normal capacity, albeit still with the 6-person limit on tables.

Bar service will not be allowed either indoors or outdoors.

International travel sees big changes with the introduction of the traffic light system which ends restrictions on vaccinated travellers from many non-EU countries – full details HERE.

Curfew moves back to 11pm from 9pm. Anyone out between 11pm and 6am will still need an attestation justifying their essential reason for being out, but bars etc will be able to stay open until 11pm.

READ ALSO How France’s curfew will work this summer

Health passports come into use for events within France. The French health passport is already up and running on the TousAntiCovid app, which now has a ‘my wallet’ section where you can scan in either vaccination certificates or a recent negative Covid test. From June 9th, this will be required to enter certain large events in France including concerts and sports matches.

READ ALSO When and where do you need a health passport? 

Gyms and swimming pools reopen for the general public, with limits on the total numbers of people allowed and strict health protocols in place.

Events of up to 5,000 people are again allowed, with a health passport. Large events such as concerts and sports matches can start up again, up to a 5,000 person limit. Entry will be via the health passport with proof of either being fully vaccinated or having been recently tested.

Spas reopen for the general public, at full capacity.

Shops, museums, cinemas and tourist sites get an increase in their customer capacity. These reopened on May 19th but had to allow 8 square metres for each person. That limit drops down to 4m sq per person on June 9th, meaning less restrictions on entry numbers. Meanwhile cinemas and theatres can move up to 65 percent of their normal capacity, up to a maximum of 1,000 people, or 5,000 people with a health passport.

Most larger museums, galleries and tourist sites are still operating a policy of advance booking only, so check in advance of your visit and some of the bigger sites have chosen to reopen later in the summer.

IN DETAIL When are France’s tourist sites reopening?

Remote working – government advice for everyone who can to work from home full time comes to an end, but this does not mark a mass ‘back to the office’. The protocol published by the Labour Ministry says only that the 100 percent remote working recommendation ends, but advises a gradual and phased return to the office, with the exact details worked out between employers and employees. 

“This must be the starting point of a move to find the right balance between face-to-face and remote working, and to put in place new practices,” said Labour Minister Elisabeth Borne.

Weddings or civil ceremonies are allowed but the venue must be at no more than 50 percent of its capacity, while funerals have a maximum of 75 attendees.

And what stays the same?

Gatherings of more than 10 people in public places remain advised against, unless health protocols are in place.

Masks are still compulsory in all indoor public spaces, at pain of a €135 fine. While some local authorities have lifted the rule on masks in outdoor private spaces in most of France, including virtually all of the big cities, masks remain compulsory outside as well.

Nightclubs remain closed.

Member comments

  1. Events up to 5000 people allowed, yippy! Yet when you sit outside your 7th friend has to sit at a seperate table! It all makes so much sense!

    1. Just use some common sense, which seems to be lacking in certain sections of today’s society.

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What you need to know about microchipping your pet in France

Under French law, dogs, cats and ferrets that are kept as pets must be identified and registered on a national database.

What you need to know about microchipping your pet in France

The animal must be identifiable by a tattoo or microchip – the most common method – registered on the Identification des carnivores domestiques (I-CAD) database. 

All dogs aged four months and over, cats over seven months old, and ferrets born after November 1st, 2021, that are over seven months old that were, must be tagged in this way. This also offers pet owners peace of mind as it means they can be easily identified and returned if they go missing, as pets sometimes do.

READ ALSO Do you really need a licence if your cat has kittens in France?

The procedure to insert the microchip, or ink the tattoo, must be carried out by an approved professional. The procedure should be done by a vet and costs between €40 and €70.

For anyone who has travelled to France from another country with a pet, the animal will already be microchipped – and on the register. But if the animal joined a family while in France, a trip to the vet may be in order.

READ ALSO Paperwork and shots: How to bring a pet to France from the USA

Once the animal is registered on the database, the owner will receive a letter from I-CAD, along with a credit card-sized document listing the registered animal’s details, including its home address.

It is up to the owner to ensure the details remain correct, including notifying the database operators of any change of address. This can be done via the I-CAD website. Alternatively, you could use the Filalapat app (download for free here), or the more traditional postal service.

As well as declaring any change of address, you should also inform the database operators if you are giving up the animal, or if it dies.

Under a 2021, first-time buyers of cats or dogs have to sign a ‘certificate of commitment and understanding’ before they are allowed to purchase a pet. 

After the signed document is delivered to the authorities, future owners have seven days to change their mind – the idea is to prevent people from ‘impulsively’ buying pets only to abandon them later.