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LIVING IN FRANCE

On the agenda: What’s happening in France this week

Here is what is happening in France on the week beginning July 5th.

On the agenda: What's happening in France this week
French schools break up this week. Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP

Monday 

Avignon’s international festival of theatre gets underway. Like all events of more than 1,000 people, entry is via health passport – requiring a vaccination certificate or negative Covid test – only.

Workers at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports are striking in a dispute over contracts. Some flights have been delayed.

Tuesday

Schools break up for the summer holidays. 

President Emmanuel Macron meets with unions to discuss the proposed pension reforms. The reforms to the country’s pension systems sparked a two-month national transport strike in December 2019 and January 2020, before being deferred when the pandemic struck. Macron now has to decide whether to revive the proposed reforms or delay further.

Cannes film festival begins.

Parliament debates the ‘loi Taquet‘ –  a package of measures aimed at better child protection that includes support for unaccompanied minors arriving in France, reforms to the care system and changes to the rules for crèches.

Wednesday

Tourists and visitors to France are now required to pay for Covid tests after an earlier offer of free tests for tourists was scrapped due to a “lack of reciprocity” from other countries. Prices are capped at €49 for a PCR test and €29 for a rapid-result antigen test. Tests of all types, including for travel, remain free to residents.

READ ALSO How to get a Covid test in France 

Meeting of the Defence Council, which considers Covid-related health restrictions. After weeks of falling Covid rates and the gradual reopening of the country, France now faces a fourth wave driven by the delta variant, which health minister Olivier Véran has warned could be here by the end of July.

Thursday

Parliament debates the budget for 2021.

Marseille jazz festival begins. 

Friday

Traffic forecaster bison futé has issued warnings for the whole country for Friday and Saturday and French families head off on holiday now that schools are finished for the summer. 

Nightclubs reopen for the first time since March 2020. Entry is via health passport – vaccination certificate or negative Covid test – only.

A second strike notice has been filed by workers at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports.

Saturday

Paris’ popular urban beaches open. There are three Paris plages locations this year – Bassin de la Villette in northern Paris, the banks of the Seine and a new location at the Jardins du Trocadéro near the Eiffel Tower, with a big screen showing the Tokyo Olympics and other sporting events 

READ ALSO What’s on in Paris this summer

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LIVING IN FRANCE

France to roll out ID cards app

Technology is being rolled out to allow people to carry their French ID cards in an app form - and could be rolled out to other cards, including driving licences and cartes de séjour residency cards.

France to roll out ID cards app

Holders of French carte d’identité (ID cards) will soon be able to carry certified digital versions of them on their smartphone or other electronic devices, a decree published in the Journal Officiel has confirmed.

An official app is being developed for holders of the newer credit card-format ID cards that have information stored on a chip. A provisional test version of the app is expected at the end of May.

Users will be able to use the ID card app, when it becomes available, for a range of services “from checking in at the airport to renting a car”, according to Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.

All French citizens have an ID card, which can be used for proving identity in a range of circumstances and for travel within the EU and Schengen zone – the new app will be in addition to the plastic card that holders already have.

Under the plans, after downloading the app, card holders will need merely to hold the card close to their phone to transfer the required information. According to officials, the holder then can decide what information is passed on – such as proof of age, or home address – according to the situation.

The government has not given any examples of situations in which the app would need to be used, but has set out the main principles and the ambition of the plan: to allow everyone to identify themselves and connect to certain public and private organisations, in particular those linked to the France Connect portal.

READ ALSO What is France Connect and how could it make your life simpler?

Cards will continue to be issued for the foreseeable future – this is merely an extension of the existing system.

Only French citizens have ID cards, but if successful the app is expected to be rolled out to include other cards, such as driving licences, cartes de séjour residency cards or even visas. A digital wallet is being developed at the European level – Member States have until September to agree what it could contain.

READ ALSO Eight smartphone apps that make life in France a bit easier

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