Yesterday evening, the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, has announced new and strict measures to combat the outbreak of the Coronavirus (Covid 19) in France. Since Friday, the president had already announced that all daycares, schools and universities will be closed starting Monday (March 16). Then adding this Saturday that all the nonessential shops will be closed starting Sunday (March 15) – you can see the list of all the businesses that will stay open at the end of this post.
Yesterday, however, Macron has declared that France will enter lockdown for a period of at least 15 days, stating that “we are at war against the virus”. If you missed the speech or just confused by the new restrictions, this is how it’s going to work.
Starting today (March 17) at noon, all residents of the French territories are obliged to stay at home. You will be allowed to leave the house for one of the following reasons:
- Work when working from home is not possible (you should have a permanent certificate from your employer if you have to go to work)
- Grocery shopping
- Health treatment – go to a doctor/hospital/pharmacy
- imperative family reasons – assistance to vulnerable people or childcare. Parents who share custody also have the right to continue to do (exit homes to pick up or drop off) so per their agreements.
- Short physical activity or taking you animal for a walk – this should be done in your neighborhood (not more than a few hundred meters from your house) and alone.
This is the most important part!
When you leave your house you must carry a certificate indicating the reason for your trip. You can see the certificate in the picture below – download it here. Don’t worry if you don’t have a printer, you can write it by hand (be sure to put the date and time). Filling it wit an adobe reader app is not allowed. Anyone caught outdoors without the certificate faces a fine of 135 €.
What will stay open during the emergency period (stage 3)?
On Saturday evening Macron announced that all non-essential businesses will stay closed including restaurants, bars, museums, cinemas and more. The businesses that will continue to operate are: pharmacies, medical cabinets, banks, gas stations, supermarkets and any grocery stores, bakeries, Tabac stores, hotels and post offices. Many restaurants can still do deliveries so think of ordering some food to support local businesses :).
You can see the full detailed list of all kinds of shops that are allowed to operate during this period in this government link.
Starting this noon, the European Union is closing all external borders for 30 days. nevertheless, residents of the European Union will be allowed to go back to their countries. So far it seems that UK citizens can also travel back there from France.
Many European counties have imposed their own border closures, which means that you’ll have to check each individual country’s restrictions if you must go there.
Note from me
If you have a business in the southwest of France that is operating during this period, please send me a description of your business and all the practical info (opening hours, address, website) to [email protected] so I can add it to the post I’m currently working on.
Stay home, safe and healthy!