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Face masks to cafés: What Covid-19 rules are still in place in France?

Face masks to cafés: What Covid-19 rules are still in place in France?
Nightlife is returning to towns and cities across France, but some Covid-19 restrictions remain in place Photo: Ludovic Marin | AFP
Falling Covid-19 cases in France have prompted the government to ease certain restrictions earlier than anticipated - but some rules still remain. Here's a round-up of what rules and restrictions you still need to respect.

Tumbling Covid case numbers and increasing vaccine rates lead to the government announcing last week two accelerations of the reopening plan – an earlier than expected end to the curfew and the lifting of the requirement for face masks in some outdoor areas.

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But that’s not the end of the strict health measures. Many remain in place including for bars and restaurants, festivals and events and the €135 fines are still being dished out for people who fail to respect the rules.

Face masks

Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that wearing masks outdoors is no longer compulsory from Thursday, June 17th. But he also said wearing a mask would remain the rule, “when we get together, when we are in a crowded place – a queue, in a market or in the stands of a stadium”.

Wearing masks in indoor public spaces – including shops, cinemas, and schools – remains compulsory.

They are also still compulsory in certain outdoor spaces including stadiums, queues, open air markets, busy places and public gatherings and on public transport. Pupils from primary age upwards will no longer have to wear masks in the school playground, the government confirmed on Wednesday, but they remain compulsory for most employees in the workplace.

You can find the full list of places where you still need a mask HERE.

Curfew

The curfew is now over so you can stay out all night for any reason and there is no longer any requirement to have an attestation when leaving the home.

The Health Pass

France’s Pass Sanitaire scheme launched on June 9th. You can find a complete list of places and events where it is necessary to hold proof of vaccination, recovery or a recent negative Covid-19 test here.

Gyms, swimming pools and sporting venues

We’re still on phase three of reopening for gyms, swimming pools and sporting venues, meaning they are open but with limits on the numbers who can gain entry at any one time and strict health rules in place, which means changing rooms may be closed.

As things stand, capacity limits are set to be lifted on June 30th – but this depends on the health situation at that time and the government may decide to do this on a local basis.

ALSO READ: EXPLAINED: The rules on playing or watching sport in France this summer

Bars and restaurants

Rules that came into force on June 9th are still in effect. So, while a capacity of 100 percent is allowed on bars and restaurants’ outdoor terraces, a 50 percent maximum indoor capacity – with a maximum of six people per table – remains. 

Customers are required to provide contact details if they want to eat or drink indoors and bar service remains banned.

Cinemas

On Wednesday June 9th, the upper limit on cinema audiences was set at 65 percent capacity. For now, that limit is still in force. Under current plans, cinemas will be able to open up fully from June 30th.

Museums and stadiums

The upper limit for both large museums and sports stadiums is set at 5,000 visitors. As is the case with bars and restaurants, new rules, which will take effect from July 1st, are due to be published next week.

Festivals and Events

France’s Fête de la musique goes ahead on Monday, June 21st, as scheduled and with restrictions in place. Until June 30th, visitors to outdoor festivals must remain seated. From June 30th the seating rule no longer applies, but outdoor venues must allow 4m2 per attendee. Health passes will be required at larger events.

Indoor concerts

Venues are still closed to the public, though a test concert in Paris involving rock band Indochine passed off smoothly. They are expected to open, with health measures in place, from June 30th. Health passes will be required.

Nightclubs and concert venues

Nightclubs remain closed for now, but Health Minister Olivier Véran said on Thursday, June 17th that they will be allowed to reopen from July, with specific measures in place such as health pass. President Emmanuel Macron is meeting nightclub owners on Monday to discuss reopening.

Travel

There are still strict rules for travel for both those who arrive in France and those who leave in the country, though much now depends on whether you are vaccinated.

You can read about France’s existing travel requirements here.

French PM Jean Castex said on Thursday that border controls would be tightened in a bid to control the spread of variants. He did not go into detail on how this would happen, and no further information has been released.


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