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Covid-19 Updates for Paris

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The latest Covid-19 news for Paris, including lockdown rules and curfew, what’s still closed, and the vaccination roll-out, updated April 13th.

The Latest Rules

  • Since April 3rd, all of metropolitan France will be under the same Covid measures to slow down the spread of the virus: all shops closed except for the essentials (food, gas, pharmacies, etc), and travel limited to within 10km your home for fresh air or exercise. These measures will be in place until the first week of May.
  • Schools will be closed until April 26th for elementary school and under, and distance learning until May 3rd for middle school and high school students. It’s essentially an extension of the usual student spring break.
  • Alcohol consumption will no longer be allowed in public, since this has contributed to large gatherings in front of bars and cafés serving alcohol “to go”. All public gatherings are still banned (the governement recommends no more private gatherings indoors, and outdoors keep distance between each person).
  • The curfew for all of France, including Paris, is 7pm-6am (exceptions for emergencies, travel scheduled by plane or train, or if you have a work attestation).
  • Attestations are required for anyone who needs to go more than 10km for their home (for work or emergency), and “justification” (proof) of where you live should be carried by everyone at all times to prove you’re staying within 10km.
  • Those who test positive for Covid-19 must self-quarantine for 10 days (instead of the previous recommended 7 days) due to the highly contagious British variant of the virus.
  • Masks must still be worn in all public places, indoors and outdoors (exceptions for runners, cyclists, and young children); due to the highly contagious nature of the new Covid variants now circulating in France, medical professionals are now recommending that everyone wear either surgical masks (N95) or Category 1 reusable fabric masks (UNS1) which filter 90% of the particles certified by Afnor (so, no more homemade fabric masks, and check the label when purchasing new ones).

What’s Open and What’s Closed

  • The government hopes to start re-opening some cultural institutions (museums?) and bar/restaurant/café terraces starting mid-May.
  • All non-essential shops are closed to the public. Food and drink shops, pharmacies, book and CD shops, gas stations, florists an garden shops, repair shops, hairdressers and tabacs remain open.
  • Schools are now closed for three weeks, plus a week of school online for middle school and high school students.
  • Public librairies are open, but only to check out and return items, not to read on-site.
  • Places of worship are open with a limit to 30 worshippers at once for services, and least two empty seats between each person.
  • Public transportation is running normally during the day, but with very limited service during curefew hours starting at 6pm.
  • Cultural institutions such as cinemas, museums, theatres and concert halls are still completely closed.
  • All bars, cafés, and restaurants are closed, but delivery and take-out are allowed.
  • Gyms and public pools are closed.
  • Hotels are technically allowed to open, but without restaurant or bar service allowed, nor gym facilities; because of a lack of travelers, many have decided to remain closed.

Travel Restrictions

  • Travel in all of metropolitan France is not allowed beyond 10km of your residence (except for work or the “compelling reason”, and with an attestation). This doesn’t apply to overseas departments and territories.
  • Travel is allowed — but discouraged — into France from EU countries (you’ll still need an attestation and a negative Covid test with 72 hours of travel).
  • All travel to France from outside the European Union is prohibited except for those with a “compelling reason” (you’ll still need an attestation and a negative Covid test with 72 hours of travel). Read the full rules in English here.
  • There are exceptions to the travel ban: as of Friday March 12th, the French government announced that travel is allowed without the usual “compelling reason” (ie required for work or family emergency), to and from the following countries: Australia, South Korea,Israel, Japan, New Zealand, UK, and Singapore. (Note: a negative Covid test within 72 hours of travel is still required, as well as 7 days of self-quarantine on arrival).
  • The government’s list of “compelling reasons” for travel to and from France outside the EU has been expanded on March 12th to include most family situations (such as children studying aborad, a spouse/partner working in a different country, etc). Download the right forms to fill out here.
  • Everyone coming into France by plane or ferry needs a negative “PCR” Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours before travel (exceptions for ground transport drivers and regular commuters with attestations). Always check the latest requirements on the French Interior Minister website.
  • Travel by international travelers from outside the EU to France is still heavily restricted except for those who meet specific exemptions (download the English exemption form here). A negative Covid-19 test must be obtained before arrival, and a 7-day self-quarantine required once in the country.
  • If you have any questions about the rules concerning entry and stay in France, you can contact the assistance hotline: +338 00 130 000.

Getting Tested

  • If you have symptoms, you should confine yourself and contact your generalist for a test (covered by Social Security). If you don’t have a generalist, you can call the free hotline to receive a referral: 0 800 130 000.
  • If you have been in contact with someone who tested positive, or need to know if you are asymptomatic, you can get the nasal swab Covid tests without a prescription at pharmacies or Covid test centers all over Paris. The interactive map of these centers is on the TousAntiCovid app. You can also find them listed at Sante.fr, but since they now also list vaccination centers, their site is overwhelmed (when in doubt, call 0 800 130 000 to find the center closest to you).
  • Download the TousAntiCovid app to be alerted if someone you’ve been in contact with has tested positive.

Vaccination Updates

As of April 13th, only the following people can make an appointment to be vaccinated:

  • Anyone 55 years old and over
  • EPHAD (nursing home) residents
  • Healthcare professionals, care home workers, fire fighters, and veterinarians.
  • People with specific health issues that make them vulnerable to Covid such as cancer (see list here)

Normally, if this includes you, you need to make an appointment at the Covid Vaccination Center closest to you: www.sante.fr

The roll-out for others to be vaccinated will be progressive by age group: May 15th for everyone 50 and over, and June 15th for adults under 50. The government estimates that everyone who wants to be vaccinated in France will be able to do so by the end of June. To achieve this, the government is counting on the delivery of the vaccines, including a total of 8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the end of June (500k doses should arrive by mid-April).

Vaccination Passport? It’s important to note that having a Covid vaccination doesn’t (yet) allow you to travel freely internationally until they’ve determined whether those vaccinated can still carry the virus and contaminate others.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has been re-approved for use in France, but will now only be given to those over 55.

The Latest Stats

Covid stats April 13

The green line on the graph above is for Ile-de-France (Paris region). Stats for hospitalizations and life support cases have been going up. The stats below are for all of France, showing current hospitalizations (31.262k, higher than last week), life-support cases (5.91k, up from last week), total deaths since the start of the pandemic (99,135, currently averaging about 300/day) and the number of people vaccinated as of April 12th (10.8 million, or 16% of the population, also shown in the two graphs below it by total and by region).

Covid stats April 13

If you’re interested in seeing a more detailed official count, visit this website (in French): https://dashboard.covid19.data.gouv.fr


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  • thank you for this comprehensive update. I have enjoyed your news letter for many years now and this is so helpful. we hope to be able to visit in the near future. Stay well.