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WHAT CHANGES IN FRANCE

Agenda: What’s happening in France this week

From debates on new Covid rules to the country's national holiday, here is what is happening in France this week.

Agenda: What’s happening in France this week
The July 14th military parade. Photo by THOMAS SAMSON / AFP

Monday 

Covid rules – The government begins debates on a new health emergency bill, which looks at measures such as health and vaccine passes. These kinds of restrictions cannot be extended without a debate in parliament, but despite the worsening Covid situation, the government says it does not intend to re-impose the health pass at present.

Masks at present are not compulsory on public transport, but are ‘strongly recommended’ – a local mask decree in Nice, due to enter into effect on Monday, was struck down by the administrative court. 

READ ALSO What are the Covid rules in France in summer 2022?

Parliamentary vote – Also in parliament, MPs will vote on the motion of no-confidence brought by the left-wing Nupes alliance against the government. When presenting the new programme to parliament last week, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne opted not to call a motion of confidence in her government. Instead, opposition MPs have deposed their own vote of no-confidence in Borne, who heads a government without an outright majority in parliament.

Macron conference – President Emmanuel Macron will be attending the Choose France summit at Versailles, the annual business conference aimed at bringing more foreign investment into France and encouraging businesses to open up a French branch. 

Wednesday 

No airport strike – a planned strike at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports has been called off after workers voted on Friday to accept a pay deal. Flights should therefore be arriving and departing as normal.

Traffic warning – Many French families will be taking advantage of the holiday weekend to get away, so traffic will be heavier than usual on Wednesday evening, especially leaving cities.

READ ALSO 8 things to know about driving in France this summer

La Rochelle festival – start of the Francopholies music festival in La Rochelle, in which the historic port area plays venue to a series of open-air concerts.

Thursday 

Fête nationale – Thursday is a public holiday for July 14th – aka Bastille Day. Expect many businesses to be closed while most towns will have fireworks displays. In Paris there will be the usual military parade along the Champs-Elysée.

Finistère festival – Chart-topper Stromae is the headline act at the Carhaix-Plouguer festival in Finistère, Brittany.

Friday

Airline strike – Easyjet flight attendants in France have called a strike from Friday, July 15th to Sunday, July 17th. Anyone with a flight booked with Easyjet should check in advance with the airline.

‘Pont’ day – Friday provides one of the few opportunities in 2022 to faire le pont (do the bridge) so many French workers will decide to take Friday as a day of annual leave and create a four-day holiday weekend. Don’t be surprised if independent businesses or offices are closed for the day. 

Rent controls – new levels on rent controls will enter into effect in Bordeaux.

Saturday 

Vel d’Hiv anniversary – the 80th anniversary of the round-up of Jews in Paris during World War II. They were held at the Vélodrome d’Hiver cycling stadium before being deported to concentration camps where many died.

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WHAT CHANGES IN FRANCE

What changes in France in October 2022

The French government's energy sobriety plan, taxes due, and school holidays - here is what is happening in France in October 2022.

What changes in France in October 2022

Plan sobriété 

The French government is set to announce the details of its plan sobriété, intended to decrease energy consumption across France by 10 percent, in early October. There’s no exact date yet for when the plan will be released, but the public mobilisation campaign, to be titled ‘Chaque geste compte‘ is set to begin on October 10th.

Taxes

Payments for the taxe foncière (property tax) are due between October 17th and 22nd, depending on method of payment. If you are paying online, you have until midnight on October 17th. If you are paying by other means then you will have until October 22nd. Payment will be debited from your bank account on October 27th. 

The complete 2022 French tax calendar

Loans

Interest rates are to increase on October 1st, according to a press release from the Bank of France. The usary rate in France corresponds to the maximum rate that banks and other credit institutions can lend money. According to BFMTV, the rate will likely increase to approach the 3 percent mark, up from a previous average of 2.57 percent for a 20-year mortgage.  

School holidays

The fall break – or Toussaint holidays – will take place across France for all children of school-age from October 22nd to Nov 7th.

Festivals and events

October is an exciting time in France for travelling around the country and enjoying small autumn festivals. There are also some bigger events to note down on your calendars for this month:

Nuit blanche – While this mostly takes place in Paris, other communes and cities across the country have begun celebrating ‘nuit blanche,’ which typically occurs the first weekend of October. It is an annual, all-night arts celebration where museums, exhibits and other cultural centres stay open all night for visitors to come free-of-charge. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the event. Events will be held from Saturday, October 1st to Sunday, October 2nd. 

Montmartre grape harvest festival – the fête des vendages de Montmartre is an annual celebration to commemorate the harvesting of grapes from the Clos Montmartre – an urban vineyard located on the slopes of the Montmartre hills in Paris’ 18th arrondisement. This is one of Paris’ most popular public events, and it involves five days of gastronomy, wine tasting, and grape picking. The parade will take place on October 8th, with other events going on from October 5th to 9th. 

READ MORE: Fall festivals: What’s on around France in autumn 2022

The International art festival in Bordeaux – If you live in the Bordeaux area, you might want to check out the FAB (Festival international des arts de Bordeaux). It is a multidisciplinary art festival, with events ranging from live performances, theatre, dance, visual arts and more. It will take place from October 1st to the 16th in the Bordeaux area.

Autumn festival in Nancy – The Foire autumne de Nancy will take place from October 22nd to November 13th. The fair will run for three weeks, equipped with family friendly activities like games, rides, cotton candy and other food stands. 

Street art festival in Lyon – The fourth edition of Lyon’s peinture fraîche festival will take place this year from October 12th to November 6th. This year you will be able to enjoy new street art exhibits, workshops and DJ sets across the city. 

Journées nationales de l’architecture – The “National Architecture Days” will run from October 14th to 16th. Different events will take place across the country, with the common goal of increasing the public’s knowledge about architecture. You can see what your local area is doing by checking your mairie’s website.

Halloween 

If you are looking to celebrate Halloween in France this year, there are a few options. Disneyland Paris’ Halloween festival will run from October 1st until November 6th, with special Halloween parties on the 29th and 30th. You can reserve tickets on their website. Parc Asterix also hosts a Halloween festival that runs from October 1st to November 6th – see more HERE.

READ MORE: A guide for how to survive fall in France for homesick Americans

If you live near Strasbourg or Grand-Est and are willing to cross over into Germany, Europa Park will also be hosting Halloween events. Finally, for adults in Paris looking to celebrate, the walk-through haunted house at the Manoir de Paris will hold Halloween events from October 22nd until October 31st. 

Flu vaccine campaign

The autumn flu vaccination campaign will begin in France on October 18th. This year, public officials will be combining it with a mobilisation effort for vulnerable people to get a second Covid-19 booster vaccine. 

READ MORE: When, where and how to get flu shots and Covid boosters this autumn in France

Clocks change

Everyone across mainland France will gain an hour of sleep when clocks switch over to winter time on the night of Saturday, October 29th to Sunday, October 30th, 2022. 

Restaurant tickets

To increase purchasing power, the government voted to allow the maximum daily allowance for “tickets resto” to go back up to €25 per day on October 1st. This measure is set to remain in effect until December 31, 2023.

The tickets are distributed to employees who work at large companies that don’t have a workplace canteen.

Rules of the road

Starting in October 2022, bicycles will gain two additional categories: the vélomobile (bicyles with protective panelling) and the vélo couché (horizontal bicycles). As these bikes are lower to the ground and more difficult for motorists to detect, they will not be allowed on roads where the speed limit exceeds 50 km/h.

New rules will also allow bicycles to use orange or yellow reflectors, which were previously prohibited. 

READ MORE: How France is preparing for a future of driverless vehicles

Additionally, signs banning the use of “cruise control” were repealed starting October 1st. .

Electric vehicles parked in front of a public charging station must be connected and charging. Violators risk a fine of €58.

Passeport prévention

Starting on October 1st, the “prevention passport” will be introduced. This document will contain the qualifications obtained by the employee in relation to any health or safety training received on the job. 

Price of cigarettes

The price of cigarettes is expected to rise with inflation in October 2022. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said to BFMTV on September 26th that the government will “index the price of the pack of cigarettes to inflation” and “[confirmed] that I can confirm price of the package will increase like inflation.” This change would likely represent an increase of about €0.70 cents on each pack of cigarettes. 

What stays in place?

The fuel rebate, which allows for a €0.30 per litre subsidy at the pump, will remain in place until October 31st.

Additionally, the energy price caps – capping electricity rate increases to four percent and freezing gas prices at October 2021 levels – will remain in place until the end of 2022.

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