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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 updates, updated February 19th.

The Latest Rules

  • As of February 19th, 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.
  • All of France, including Paris, is under a 6pm-6am curfew (exceptions for emergencies, travel scheduled by plane or train, or if you have a work attestation). There is no end date for this at the moment.
  • 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).
  • All public gatherings are still banned (the governement recommends no more than six people in private gatherings; so private parties are still not allowed).

FEB 19th UPDATE: Yesterday France’s Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot announced that open-air summer festivals would be allowed to take place with a maximum of 5000 spectators as long as they’re seated and wearing masks. There will also be two “test concerts” in March (one in Marseilles and one at the Bercy/Accord Arena in Paris) to see if mass testing just before the shows are feasible.

What’s Open and What’s Closed

  • All (non-food) shopping centers bigger than 20,000m² are now closed to the public for a minimum of three weeks. That includes all of the Parisian department stores such as BHV, Printemps, Galeries Lafayette, and Bon Marché, as well as the Forum des Halles, and the larger home improvement stores like Leroy Merlin, Ikea, or Castorama (but check on these in Paris, some locations are smaller than 20,000m²).
  • All other shops under 20,000m² are open, including clothing shops, but there are limits posted at the entrance for how many people can be inside at the same time. Masks must be worn.
  • Schools are open, but university students are still limited to distance-learning only. Kids 6 and older must wear masks.
  • Parks, gardens, and cemeteries are open, masks must be worn. This includes museum gardens including the Musée Rodin and the Musée Albert Kahn.
  • 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, however art galleries are open since they’re considered “shops”.
  • All bars, cafés, and restaurants are closed, but take-out and delivery 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

  • There are no current travel restrictions within France, as long as you’re not on the road during the curfew of 6pm-6am (exceptions for travel to or from the airport or train station).
  • Starting Sunday January 31st, France will close its borders to countries outside the European Union, with exceptions for the usual work or family emergency-related reasons (you’ll still need an attestation).
  • 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 today, February 19th, only the following people can make an appointment to be vaccinated:

  • Anyone over 75 years old
  • EPHAD (nursing home) residents
  • Healthcare professionals over 50 or who have comorbidity factors (see list here)
  • 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, but the dates have not been announced yet. The government estimates that everyone who wants to be vaccinated in France will be able to do so starting by the end of August (originally they said April). However, even assuming there are no delays, there is a period of up to six weeks between the two injections required. So…let’s call it “summer”.

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 Latest Stats (February 17th)

The green line on the graph above is for Ile-de-France (Paris region). Stats for hospitalizations and life support cases seem to be going down or remaining steady. The stats below are for all of France, showing current hospitalizations (25.7k, lower than last week), life-support cases (3.3k, up from last week), total deaths since the start of the pandemic (83.3k, currently averaging about 300/day) and the number of people vaccinated (2.4 million, or 3.57% of the population, also shown in the two graphs below it by total and by region).

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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