This Week in France: What you need to know

During the 2020 New Year's Eve, the Champs de Mars were empty due to a curfew designed to stem the spread of Covid in France.
During the 2020 New Year's Eve, the Champs de Mars were empty due to a curfew designed to stem the spread of Covid in France. This year could see similar scenes. (Photo by Stefano RELLANDINI / AFP)
From possible to new Covid restrictions to a lot of new laws, here's what's coming up this week in France.


New Covid restrictions to be discussed 

In response to record high Covid rates, the French government is holding a high level meeting of the Health Defence Council, chaired by president Emmanuel Macron. Following the meeting, scheduled to start at 4pm, it is possible that further Covid restrictions will be announced. 


Midwives go on strike 

Midwives in France will begin a strike set to last until December 31st. They are demanding higher salaries. While not every midwife in the country will be taking part in the action. It is likely that some neonatal clinics will be significantly understaffed. 


National Assembly begins review of vaccine pass bill 

A special commission in the lower house of the French parliament will examine the government’s proposal to introduce a vaccine pass to replace the health pass.

Both the National Assembly and the Senate will debate the vaccine pass – which would not allow unvaccinated people the option to present a negative test to access bars, cafés, leisure and cultural venues etc – before it can be approved. You can read more about how the vaccine pass would work HERE

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(Limited) New Year’s Eve celebrations

Many local authorities have already cancelled the traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks and concerts, while most have also imposed a ban on unlicensed gatherings on New Year’s Eve.

It is possible that the government will also introduce a curfew, meaning that revellers cannot stay out into the early hours of the morning. Currently, only the eastern city of Strasbourg has imposed such a measure – and even then only for the under 16s. 

Full details on any new New Year restrictions will be released later on Monday.


A raft of new legislation comes into force 

The beginning of a new year marks the moment that many new laws come into force.

From January 1st, a new tax on vehicle weight will be enacted; it will become illegal to kill male baby chicks; courrier fees will increase by 4.7 percent; the destruction of non-food waste will be made illegal; Bordeaux will introduce a 30 km/h speed limit; contraception will become free for women under the age of 25; and Brits living in France will be legally obliged to hold a titre de séjour

READ ALSO What changes in France in 2022? 

New Year’s Day

January 1st is a public holiday in France, meaning that some shops are likely to be closed. However, because the public holiday falls on a Saturday this year there is no extra day off for most workers.

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