Although Parisians are optimistic as we watch the dotted line on the number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 in Ile-de-France continue to flatten out, we still have one more week of “Deconfinement – Phase One” measures before the government announces the changes for June. However there are still a few things that are already changing, from museum openings and metro operating hours to the return of religious services and the opening of travel booking for the summer.
The light blue dotten line represents daily number of hospitalizations for Covid-19 and medium blue dotted line represents the number of patients on life support in France (dark blue bars represent the total number of deaths, green bars represent total number of recovered patients).
Museums & Entertainment
There are still only a few small museums open in Paris, notably the wonderful little Musée Mundolingua near St-Sulpice Church in the 6th (photo below), which I wrote about in the Secrets of Paris Newsletter #200 this February. Rivoli 59, the former artists’ squat transformed into ateliers and a gallery, is also once again open to the public. The Atelier des Lumières reopens Tuesday the 26th, but you’ll need to reserve online in advance (which was pretty much the case before, anyway). The Institut Giacometti, Atelier Renault, and Musée de l’Illusion are also open, but I still haven’t managed to visit any of these three yet.
Châteaux in Ile de France
Just outside Paris several châteaux have reopened, including the Château de Chantilly and its world-class museum (although the grounds and stables remain closed), the family-owned Chateau Vaux le Vicomte, and the Château de Breteuil in Yvelines. The Chateau de Fontainebleau opens starting Monday, May 25th. The Château de Versailles and Château de Vincennes are still closed.
Although the Bois de Boulogne, Bois de Vincennes, and all green spaces that can’t be locked (like the Esplanade des Invalides and Champ de Mars) are open, the Minister of the Interior Edouard Philippe still won’t allow Mayor Hidalgo to open the rest of the parks and gardens in Paris as long as the Ile-de-France is a “red zone”, one of the three regions of France with the highest number of active Coronavirus hospitalizations.
Churches, synagogues, and mosques are now allowed to open for services as long as everyone wears a mask, uses gel on the way in, and maintains the required distance between each other.
Changes in the Metro and RER Service
Starting Monday May 25th the metro and RER will be back running at their normal hours again (5am-1:45am), with extra service on lines 1, 13 and 14 to lessen the crowds. You’ll still have to wear a mask and have a note from your employer to ride during rush hours (6:30-9:30am, and 4-7pm). I can’t find anything that specifically says all of the closed stations will re-open, so I’ll reconfirm that on Monday morning, but here is the current list as of today (you can see the updated list directly on the RATP website anytime):
- line 2: Courcelles, Victor Hugo, Place de Clichy, Stalingrad, Villiers and Barbès-Rochechouart
- line 3: Bourse, Malesherbes, Havre Caumartin, Villiers, Opera and République
- line 4: Alésia, Saint-Placide, Barbès-Rochechouart, Raspail and Strasbourg-Saint Denis
- line 5: Bréguet-Sabin, Campo-Formio, Hoche, Jacques Bonsergent, Laumière, Quai de la Rapée, République and Stalingrad
- line 6: Raspail and La Motte Picquet-Grenelle
- line 7: Cadet, Pierre and Marie Curie, Porte de Choisy, Tolbiac, Opera, Stalingrad,line 7b: Danube and Buttes Chaumont
- line 8: Félix Faure, Filles du Calvaire, Ledru Rollin, Liberté, Lourmel, Maisons-Alfort Stade, Michel Bizot, Strasbourg-Saint Denis, Grands Boulevards, Opera, Porte de Charenton, La Motte Picquet-Grenelle and République
- line 9: Alma Marceau, Charonne, Exelmans, Jasmin, Maraîchers, Havre-Caumartin, Strasbourg-Saint Denis, République and Grands Boulevards
- line 10: Cardinal Lemoine, Charles Michels, Chardon-Lagache, Ségur, Vaneau and La Motte Picquet-Grenelle
- line 11: Jordan, Rambuteau and République
- line 12: Abbesses, National Assembly, Jules Joffrin, Marx Dormoy, Notre-Dame de Lorette, Rennes, Rue du Bac and Volontaires
- line 13: Brochant, Liège, Pernety and Place de Clichy.
Request Your Navigo Pass Reimbursement Before June 17th
If you have an annual or monthly Navigo pass you can now go onto the dedicated website to request a reimbursement for the months you didn’t use it during the lockdown (€100 for regular pass holders, €50 for student or senior pass holders): https://www.mondedommagementnavigo.com
RATP App to Share Metro Crowd-Size and Cleanliness Info
Even if you already have the RATP app (available in English and French, iPhone and Android), you might not know about its many features, including the new Covid-19 section that gives you the latest rules for usage, the certificate to fill out for rush hour travel, and a link for you to report how crowded your commute was at any given time. You can also use the app to find the nearest available Vélib (bike share), Communauto (car share), or Cityscoot (scooter share). My favorite button on the app is “Report a Cleanliness Issue”. https://www.ratp.fr/en/apps/ratp-app
Coming June: Phase Two!
On June 2nd Edouard Philippe will announce the government’s plan for Phase 2 of Deconfinement, including the re-opening dates for cinemas, theatres, restaurants and bars, the city’s museums and monuments, parks and gardens, larger shopping centers.
Can We Start Booking Travel?
We’ll also find out in the coming week whether Paris will be relabeled as a green zone for June, and whether the 100km limit on travel is lifted before July. The French have already been given the green light to travel in July and August within France mainland and French overseas departments and territories, but the government is not yet opening up travel beyond its borders, even to other EU countries. “We are absolutely not suggesting that the French reserve their holidays abroad. This year, the idea is to holiday in France,” said Environment Minister Elisabeth Borne on France Inter radio.
French and EU Flights
Whether the greater public is able to travel outside France or not, Easyjet will resume flights within France and the UK starting June 15th, and other airlines will follow by the end of the month for service within Europe (Ryanair is waiting until July). Each EU country is opening at its own pace, so even if the country you want to visit is open for visitors, you still need to be able to leave the one you’re in (and know whether you can return). For example, anyone traveling between France and the UK will need to quarantine for 14 days, no matter what nationality you have.
Fête de la Musique June 21st
After getting plenty of musical practice from our windows during lockdown, this week French authorities announced that the Fête de la Musique will take place this year after all (as always on the longest day of the year, June 21st), but like Paris Plage it will be smaller than usual and subject to special restrictions (which haven’t been itemized just yet. Keep those guitar strings tuned!