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What changes in France in November 2021

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What changes in France in November 2021
All photo: AFP

From herring festivals and wine days to new driving laws and a relaxation of travel rules, here's everything that changes in France this November.


November 1st and 11th public holidays

November has two public holidays - Monday 1st to mark All Saints Day (Toussaint) and November 11th to mark Armistice Day. The holiday commemorating the end of World War I falls on a Thursday this year, providing one of the few opportunities in 2021 to faire le pont.

Toussaint school holidays

Children also get a break in late October/early November. The Toussaint school holidays run from Saturday, October 23rd to Monday, November 7th.


Travel to USA

From November 8th travellers from Europe will again be allowed into the USA, provided they are vaccinated. The USA's borders have been closed to almost all non-US citizens since early 2020, but from November 8th travel for non-essential reasons will again be permitted, provided travellers are fully vaccinated.

Snow tires

From November 1st, snow tires or chains are compulsory in 48 different départements of France. Local authorities set the list of applicable roads for the Loi montagne (mountain law), which comes into effect this year.

Failure to comply means a €135 fine - although police say they will not fine drivers for the first year the law is in effect, but will instead concentrate on educating people and making them aware of the new rules.


Driving app law

From November 1st, drivers are banned from alerting others about upcoming police checks or roadblocks via motoring apps.

Health pass extension

November 15th was the original expiry date for the pass sanitaire (health passport), but French MPs have voted in favour of extending it. This doesn't necessarily mean that the pass itself will remain in use until next year, but that the government can extend or reintroduce it without having to consult parliament.

Flu vaccination programme

The flu vaccine rollout is already underway for people in priority groups, but from November 23rd anyone can be vaccinated.

The vaccine is free for people in a priority group. Those not considered a priority can still access it via their GP or pharmacist, but will have to pay between €6 and €10 for the vaccine, plus the cost of an appointment to administer it, reimbursed at the usual rate for those registered in the French health system.

Click here for the full list of priority groups and access.

Gas price freeze

Prices for domestic gas were scheduled to increase by 15 percent on November 1st, but the government has stepped in to freeze prices until the end of 2022, so bills for heating and cooking gas will remain the same.

More fishing wars?

In the latest round of conflict between the UK and French governments over post-Brexit fishing licences, the French government says it will begin 'retaliation' from November 2nd, this has now been postponed, but still expect lots of political sniping plus possible travel disruption.

Trêve hivernale

The winter truce - trêve hivernale - begins on November 1st and runs until March 31st 2022. During this time, tenants cannot be evicted from their homes even if they are in arrears with their rent, while utility companies cannot cut off people who have not paid their bills.

Quit smoking

November in France is the Mois sans tabac (tobacco-free month) in which public health bodies run campaigns and offer extra support to people who want to quit smoking.

Don't forget to pay your household tax and TV licence fee

Although 80 percent of taxpayers in France no longer have to pay the residence tax (taxe d'habitation), higher earners and second-home owners will still receive bills. The deadline to pay this tax is November 15th by post and November 20th online. 

Almost all households equipped with a TV have to pay the €138 TV licence fee. The deadlines are the the same as those for the residence tax. 

Dieppe herring festival

November means herring festivals in coastal Normandy as locals gather to celebrate one of their most famous products. The festival in Dieppe on November 13th and 14th is the biggest, but many other towns hold festivals of herring (and sometimes scallops) through the month of November - click here for a full list.

READ ALSO The 9 best festivals in France this autumn

Beaujolais Nouveau Day

The third Thursday in November (Thursday,18th this year) marks the day that the new bottles of beaujolais hit the shelves.

The special day is the first of the year that wine-makers are allowed to sell their primeurs (the young wines that are produced quickly and are ready to drink six to eight weeks after the harvest).

The day itself started out life as just a marketing gimmick, but towns around the Burgundy region have their own festivals to mark the start of Beaujolais Nouveau sales, the largest of which is in Lyon where the barrels of wine are rolled through the city centre before being opened.


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