This week in France: What you need to know

Several Covid-related rules change in France this week
Several Covid-related rules change in France this week. Photo: Georges Gobet/AFP
From changes to mask rules in schools and free Covid tests to the Paris Marathon, here's a quick roundup of some of the important changes and events in France this week.


From Monday, primary schools in 21 départements of France will be able to scrap mask rules in the classroom. This is in addition to the 47 areas that scrapped the rule last Monday and comes as Covid cases in France continue to steadily fall.

Find the full list of areas covered by the new rule HERE.

All week

The Semaine du Goût (taste week) runs all week as a celebration of all things flavourful (mainly French cuisine and wine). The programme includes tasting sessions, quizzes and workshops on making everything from patisserie to crêpes. Find the full schedule here.

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French president Emmanuel Macron will continue in apparent campaign mode on Tuesday albeit without actually having announced he will definitely stand for reelection.

He will present the plan “France 2030” which will lay out how the government will invest tens of billions in technology for the future in the hope French tech companies can rival US or Chinese competitors.


Strikes are set to hit France’s cultural sites on Wednesday with unions staging protests against the use of the Covid-19 health pass. Members of the public must show their pass (vaccination, negative test or recovery from Covid-19) to gain entry into France’s most famous monuments and sites.

The measure aims to keep the infection spread down and to encourage people to get vaccinated but unions say it is no longer needed due to the high level of vaccinations and the fact mask wearing is obligatory in cultural sites.

The strike is set to begin on Wednesday but may continue so it’s worth checking to see if the places you planned to visit are actually open.


Members of France’s Socialist Party will vote for their chosen candidate for the 2022 presidential election. It looks like it will be the current Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, but current polls also suggest she has very little chance of being elected next April. All that could change of course over the coming months.


Covid tests no longer free

Covid tests are no longer free for everyone. From October 15th new rules come in on free Covid testing.

The tests remain free for anyone who has Covid symptoms or is a contact case, but if you are not vaccinated, ‘convenience tests’ such as those needed for travel or to use the health passport must be paid for.

Tests for under 18s remain free in all circumstances. Full details on pricing and eligibility can be found HERE.

Film screening

Screening of the hit (albeit controversial) French film Bac Nord with English subtitles. The screening is hosted by the Paris-based cinema club Lost in Frenchlation – full details here.


Weekly protests against the health pass continue, although these are now much shrunken in number and in most places number just a few hundred people. 


Rescheduled Paris marathon takes place. The 2020 event, due to be held in February, was one of the first events to be cancelled due to what was then a new illness known as coronavirus. Organisers have attempted to reschedule several times since then and now, 19 months later, it is finally going ahead. The race is a health passport event and will take place on the traditional route through the centre of Paris.

If you are planning on going out for the day in Paris take a note of the route which causes road closures.

This week’s weather

This week’s weather is looking promising, at least for the beginning of the week which promises to be sunny in the south and more cloudy in the north with mild temperatures across the country.

The full seven-day forecast is available here on Méteo France.

Monday's weather forecast from Météo France.
Monday’s weather forecast from Météo France.

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