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What changes in France in July 2021?

What changes in France in July 2021?
From nightclubs to transport strikes, here's what changes in France in July. All photos: AFP.
The start of summer means schools are breaking up, sales are beginning, and travel restrictions are relaxed. Here’s everything that changes in France in July.

Further easing of Covid-19 restrictions

Stage 4 of France’s reopening was on June 30th, with an end to national limits on numbers in restaurants and shops. However, local authorities will now be able to impose their own limitations, so this doesn’t mean a complete end to restrictions.

Concerts with standing audiences are also permitted from June 30th.

Then, on July 9th, nightclubs will be allowed to reopen for the first time since March 2020 (with a health passport).

EU health passport

Travelling within the European Union will become easier from July 1st, as the EU’s health passport scheme begins. From that date, people who can show they are fully vaccinated can travel anywhere within the EU or Schengen zone without needing to follow certain health measures, such as quarantine or testing.

Full details on how the health passport works HERE.

More time to apply for post-Brexit residency

Brits living in France are still able to apply for a carte de séjour, after the process was extended for three months. The deadline was initially June 30th, but the French government recently confirmed that applications will be possible until September 30th. An estimated 25,000 Brits living in France risk losing their rights – if you are British and have not yet applied, click HERE to find out whether you need to.

Summer holidays

The holiday season officially begins on Tuesday, July 6th, as this is the date when schools break up for the summer. Children in France usually have about eight weeks off during the summer. The following weekend is expected to be a busy one on the roads as families head off on holiday.

Summer sales

The summer sales in France will begin on June 30th, after being pushed back a week to give shops a chance to sell their products at full price following the end of lockdown. They will last until July 27th.

Paris plages

The capital’s popular urban beaches return on July 10th. And this year, a new spot will join the usual sites on the banks of the Seine and beside the Bassin de la Villette in northern Paris. The Jardins du Trocadéro near the Eiffel Tower will become the third location, with a big screen showing the Tokyo Olympics and other sporting events. City authorities also have a programme of concerts and outdoor events.

Festivals

With the easing of health restrictions, expect a much more active cultural life in France in July. Over 200 events are planned in Paris for July and August – mostly outdoors, including music, theatre and dance performances.

A number of music festivals will also take place across the country, including the Vieilles Charrues festival, featuring Céline Dion (July 8th to 18th), and the Francofolies festival in La Rochelle (July 10th to 14th). Large events will require a health passport to enter.

Bastille Day

Workers in France will have an extra day off, as the July 14th celebrations fall on a Wednesday this year. Festivities, including the traditional fireworks display, are set to go ahead in towns and cities across France, after crowds were banned from the Fête nationale in Paris last year.

Strikes

A series of transport strikes will take place at the beginning of the month, starting with railway workers on July 1st. Workers on the budget TGV Ouigo trains are set to go on strike between July 3rd and 4th. Finally, all trade unions representing workers at the Aéroports de Paris (Charles de Gaulle-Roissy and Orly airports) are calling for a strike between July 1st and July 5th.

Full details on the strikes are available HERE.

Higher gas prices

From July 1st, utility company Engie’s regulated gas tariffs will increase by 9.96 percent on average. The specificities of how this applies to cooking, heating or hot water have not yet been announced.

Paternity leave

For children born on or after July 1st, dads in France will be entitled to 25 days of paid leave. Previously, they were only allowed 11 days off.

Changes to furlough

Workers who are on the government’s chômage partiel (partial unemployment) scheme due to the pandemic currently receive 84 percent of their usual salary. From the beginning of July, this will fall to 72 percent, although the reduction does not apply to workers in the hardest-hit industries such as tourism, culture and events.

Energy renovation grants

Since September 2020, homeowners in France have been able to receive government help when undertaking work to make their houses more energy efficient thanks to the MaPrimeRénov’ scheme. Previously, this was means-tested, but from July 1st the policy will be extended to all homeowners.

Incentives for buying electric cars reduced

In December 2020, the French government introduced the prime à la conversion (conversion bonus) to encourage people to buy more energy-efficient vehicles. Grants ranged from €2,000 to €7,000 for people buying a new or second-hand electric or hybrid car. From July, these aids will be reduced by €1,000. Full details are available on the government’s website.

Paris rent control changes

On July 1st, it will be two years since Paris introduced price controls for rented properties. The start of July will also see changes to rent limits. You can find out how much landlords in the capital are allowed to charge here.

Obligatory registration extended to second-hand bikes

Since the beginning of the year, new bikes sold in shops have to be marked, allowing them to be identified and tracked, as the government attempts to counter the widespread problem of bicycle theft. From July 1st, this obligation will be extended to second-hand bikes which are sold by professionals.

You can take your bike on a coach

From July 2021, new intercity coaches will have space for up to five passengers to store a bicycle.

Breathalysers

From July, all supermarkets, off-licences and online shops selling alcohol will be required to sell breathalyser kits.


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