MAP: The areas of France that are scrapping mask requirements in schools

From Monday, primary school children in these 47 French départements will no longer have to wear a mask in class.

French primary school children may no longer need to wear a mask.
French primary school children may no longer need to wear a mask. Photo: Pascal Guyot/AFP

As Covid rates continue to fall in France, with the beginning of the school year in September showing no effect on case rates, plans are being made to gradually ease health restrictions.

The government announced on September 22nd that primary school children will no longer have to wear masks in areas that have a stable incidence rate of less than 50 cases per 100,000 people.

On Thursday it published the full list of 47 départements where this will apply from Monday, October 4th.

They are:

  • Aisne
  • Allier
  • Ardennes
  • Aveyron
  • Calvados
  • Cantal
  • Charente-Maritime
  • Corrèze
  • Côte-d’Or
  • Côtes-d’Armor
  • Creuse
  • Deux-Sèvres
  • Dordogne
  • Eure
  • Finistère
  • Gers
  • Haute-Loire
  • Haute-Marne
  • Haute-Saône
  • Indre
  • Indre-et-Loire
  • Isère
  • Landes
  • Loir-et-Cher
  • Loire
  • Loire-Atlantique
  • Loiret
  • Lozère
  • Maine-et-Loire
  • Manche
  • Marne
  • Meurthe-et-Moselle
  • Meuse
  • Morbihan
  • Nièvre
  • Orne
  • Pas-de-Calais
  • Saône-et-Loire
  • Sarthe
  • Seine-Maritime
  • Somme
  • Tarn
  • Tarn-et-Garonne
  • Vendée
  • Vienne
  • Vosges
  • Yonne

Masks will remain compulsory for older children in collège and lycée, and primary school teachers and other members of staff in contact with pupils will also continue wearing a mask.

The SNUipp-FSU, France’s largest primary school teachers’ union, said the measure “demonstrates once again the incoherence and short-term thinking in the management of the health crisis in schools”, in a press release published on Thursday.

“Incidence rates in the general population will be taken as the reference when the rate for 6- to 10-year-olds, who do not have the protection of vaccination […] is far superior, and well above the alert level of 50 [cases per 100,000 inhabitants] in these very same ‘green’ départements. In these conditions, removing the only protective measure in schools is worrying.”

The education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has also announced a trial scheme to keep classes open if there is a single Covid case diagnosed.

It comes as the number of classes closed due to Covid cases shows a steady fall, but the idea will be tested in selected areas first before it becomes policy.

The government has also discussed scrapping the health passport in areas where case rates are low, although this has not been confirmed.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.