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Health & Safety

Coronavirus Encore: France Back under Lockdown

Caryatides statues

As the “second wave” of Covid-19 infections begins to overwhelm hospitals, the French are once again back in confinement from October 30 until at least December 1st.  

No Public Gatherings

All gatherings in public places are now banned. Cinemas, museums, theatres and concert halls are now completely closed. Libraries are closed, but on-site lending is possible.

All bars and restaurants are closed, but take-out and delivery are allowed. Hotels can only accommodate business travelers with the proper attestation.

Stay at Home (and the Exceptions)

Leaving your home is only possible in the following cases:

  • to get to work if remote working is not possible
  • to get to a medical appointment
  • to assist a loved one (sick, elderly, handicapped)
  • to make essential purchases (food shopping, professional equipment, etc.)
  • to practice an individual sports activity in the open air or to get some fresh air, within a radius of 1 kilometer from home and within a limit of one hour
  • for a judicial or administrative summons
  • for participation in volunteer work
  • to take school exams
  • for moving (your residence)

The Attestation

If you step outside your house you need your mask (of course) and carry one of these three printed attestations:

* You can also save a tree by downloading it on your smartphone under this link or on the TousAntiCovid application.

What’s Still Open

Most Schools

Preschool, elementary, middle and high schools will remain open, but university students have to work remotely. Kids age 6 and up have to wear masks.

Public Services Remain Open

Municipal services, town halls, and hotlines will remain functioning as normal.    

Food Shops and Other “Essential” Stores and Services

  • Indoor and outdoor food markets
  • Shops linked to health (pharmacies)
  • DIY stores
  • Car garages
  • Opticians
  • Computer equipment stores
  • Telecommunications equipment shops
  • Newsstands
  • Stationery stores
  • Garden centers
  • Wholesale stores
  • Pet stores
  • Temping agencies
  • Laundromats and laundries
  • Banks
  • Post Offices
  • Insurance agencies

* Businesses that are closed, such as bookstores, can set up click & collect.

Public Transportation

The metro, bus and RER will be running, but at limited intervals to account for less traffic.

Outdoor Spaces

Parks and gardens remain open (although you can only visit them if they’re within one kilometer of your residence, and not for more than an hour, and only alone or with people from the same household). Cemeteries also remain open normal winter hours (8am-6pm), since the French Toussaint holiday (All Saints’ Day) is November 1st.


Funerals are allowed with a maximum of 30 people. Wedding ceremonies can be held with a maximum of 6 guests (excluding married couples and town hall staff).

Places of worship

Places of worship remain open to the public but religious gatherings (masses, baptisms) are prohibited (except funerals and weddings).

Gyms and Sport Centers

All Parisian gymnasiums and sports clubs are closed to the public, but remain open for school children with their designated time slots, university sports clubs, and professional athletes. Outdoor team sports are prohibited.


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  • What are the rules in the countryside where rural residents are farther than 1km from essential businesses?

    • Hi Judy, the 1-kilometer limit is for going out for exercise, dog walking, etc. There’s no specific limit for how far you can go for essential items like food, but each city’s mayor can determine the guidelines for distance. In the countryside it’s going to be a lot more relaxed than in dense city centers like Paris and Lyon.

  • From Denver: It’s about 62 degrees F. today…just lovely. We’re “Safer at Home”…not confined to home. yet.

    Our community created a creepy outdoor environment in front of our condominium. We’d planned for “safe distancing” distribution of cellophane bags of wrapped candy for ‘trick or treaters’ who happened by. Not many children were out from 5:50 – 8:00 pm. But many of our residents dressed in costume, placed candles in about 20 Jack-o-lanterns, and guided guests along the path towards the candy distribution table.

    Police here have planned to have communication centers operating on Nov. 3, our Election day. If that day and the week ahead is uneventful, I’ll be grateful. Tensions are so high I hope there will be activities planned to de-escalate the apprehension and build community goodwill. You mentioned seeing armed safety personnel on your street hardly gave you peace of mind. Peace cannot be nonchalant freedom any longer. I hope we’re willing to purposefully endeavor to make the communities where we live, practicing humanitarians.

    All of this is to say, We look forward to a healthy and consciencious environment all over the world. “Girlfriend”