The week in France: What you need to know

From new Covid protocols in schools, to Russia talks and a festival of cows and politicians in Paris, here's what it happening this week in France.

The week in France: What you need to know
The Paris Salon de l'agriculture is ideal for those who like cattle or politicians, or both. Photo by Bertrand GUAY / POOL / AFP)


New schools protocol – Schools returning from the February holiday are able to introduce a more relaxed Covid protocol, with inside sports allowed once again and masks no longer required in outdoor areas.

The February school holidays are staggered across the country so schools in Zone B will return on Monday to the new protocol, while those in Zone A (central and south west France) return on February 29th and Zone C (south of France and Paris) return on March 7th.

Economic plans – the businesses leaders’ association Medef is meeting with candidates in the presidential election, where they will present their manifesto plans for business and the economy. Six candidates have accepted the invitation; far right Rassemblement National leader Marine Le Pen, Green candidate Yannick Jadot, Communist Fabien Roussel, centre-right Les Républicains candidate Valérie Pécresse, the centre-left Parti Socialiste’s Anne Hidalgo and extreme right Eric Zemmour.  


Mali military – following the announcement that French troops will be withdrawn from Mali, a formal declaration will be made to parliament about the military engagement in the Sahel region of west Africa.

Reader question: Why were French troops in Mali?

Election debate – Radio France hosts an event in which 100 young people can pose questions to some of the leading candidates in the French presidential race.


Abortion law – MPs formally adopt the new law allowing women to terminate pregnancies up to 14 weeks, instead of the current maximum limit of 12 weeks.


G7 meeting – G7 leaders are scheduled to meet in a video conference to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Also on Thursday, American and Russian ministers will meet to discuss a summit between US President Joe Biden and Russian premier Vladimir Putin, which was brokered by French president Emmanuel Macron.


Césars – The annual ceremony for the César awards – the French equivalent of the Oscars – is held in Paris.


First day of the Paris Salon de l’agriculture – the massive farm show, held at the exhibition centre at Porte de Versailles, brings together farmers and their prize-winning animals from all over France. The show also attracts presidential candidates who love to pet cows and generally show that they are men or women of the people. The show runs until Sunday, March 6th – full details and tickets here

EXPLAINED Why petting cows at the farm show is a crucial skill for French politicians


Finale of the Menton lemon festival in the town of Menton which nestles on the border with Italy – full details here

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

From a new government and a tax deadline to a public holiday and an influx of football fans in Paris - here's what is happening in France this week.

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


Council of Ministers – this will be the first meeting of the Council of Ministers from the newly-formed French government, announced on Friday. The regular weekly meeting of the highest-ranking French ministers tackles all aspect of government.

READ ALSO Who’s who in the new French government

Paris transport strike – services in the city’s bus and tram network will be affected on Monday as staff take strike action in a long-running dispute over service reorganisation. Metro services are not affected.


Tax deadline day – this is the first deadline for the completion of the annual tax declaration online, and it applies to people who live in départements 1-19 or those who live outside France. For help with completing the declaration, head to our tax section.

READ ALSO Who has to fill in the annual French tax declaration?

Besson case – the court of appeal is set to publish its judgement in the case of the film director Luc Besson, who has been accused of rape.

Marseille literature festival – the literary festival Oh les beaux jours begins in Marseille.


Music festival – the festival of electronic music Nuits sonoré begins in Lyon.


Ascension Day – The Christian holiday of Ascension marks the first public holiday of the month. Normally May 1st (workers’ day) and May 8th (VE Day) are both holidays in France, but this year they fell on a Sunday, meaning no extra day off. Ascension also represents one of the rare chances to faire le pont in 2022.


Champions League final – If you’re in Paris, expect it to be full of Spaniards and Scousers as Real Madrid take on Liverpool for the Champions League final at the Stade de France. The final was originally set to be held in Russia, but was relocated due to the invasion of Ukraine.

READ ALSO What Liverpool fans coming to Paris for the Champions League final need to know

End of Cannes film festival – the film festival ends on Saturday after two weeks of celebration in the southern French seaside resort.