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Covid-19: New nightly curfew for most of France

CÔTE D'AZUR & PROVENCE 

COUVRE FEU FRANCE

Due to the alarming spike in the cases of Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations, we are being placed under another lockdown-like curfew starting 24 October (effective midnight tonight). This ‘couvre-feu’, or enforced curfew, that was recently applied only to a few regions and cities deemed a ‘maximum alert zone’ but has now been extended to almost the whole of France. Here we detail what has been prohibited and what the exceptions are.

On 16 October, the French President, Emmanuel Macron, addressed the nation on the increasing rate of Covid-19 infection in France, calling the situation “worrying.” The following day, Jean Castex announced a curfew effective 17 October in areas deemed ‘extreme risk.’ This was applied to the Île-de-France region and the cities of Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, Lille, Grenoble, Lyon, Montpellier, Rouen, Toulouse and Saint-Etienne.

As of Saturday, 24 October, this curfew will be extended to the following regions, including the Alpes-Maritimes: Ain (01), Hautes-Alpes (05), Alpes-Maritimes (06), Ardèche (07), Ardennes (08), Ariège (09), Aube (10), Aveyron (12), Bouches-du-Rhône (13), Calvados (14), Corse-du-Sud (2A), Haute-Corse (2B), Côte-d'Or (21), Drôme (26), Gard (30), Haute-Garonne (31), Hérault (34), Îlle-et-Vilaine (35), Indre-et-Loire (37), Isère (38), Jura (39), Loire (42), Haute-Loire (43), Loiret (45), Lozère (48), Maine-et-Loire (49), Marne (51), Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Nord (59), Oise (60), Pas-de-Calais (62), Puy-de-Dôme (63), Pyrénées-Atlantiques (64), Hautes-Pyrénées (65), Pyrénées-Orientales (66), Bas-Rhin (67), Rhône (69), Saône-et-Loire (71), Savoie (73), Haute-Savoie (74), Seine-Maritime (76), Seine-et-Marne (77), Yvelines (78), Tarn (81), Tarn-et-Garonne (82), Var (83), Vaucluse (84), Haute-Vienne (87), Essonne (91), Hauts-de-Seine (92), Seine-Saint-Denis (93), Val-de-Marne (94) and Val-d'Oise (95) and French Polynesia (987).

So what does this all mean?

This couvre feu seems to be like a ‘Lockdown 2.0 – version light’. During the day, life continues as our recent normal with masks in all public areas, social distancing, hand sanitising and a limit of 6 people in groups.

However, from 9 pm until 6 am the following morning, it will be forbidden to go out or travel. There is a list of acceptable reasons for going out during the curfew, but will require an attestation, just as we did during the confinement. This will last 4 weeks but may be extended if the health situation changes.

EXCEPTIONS

It is still possible to travel, provided you have the authorized travel certificate, which can be downloaded from the Ministry of the Interior website, here, plus the necessary accompanying documents.

The authorised reasons are:

  • Travel between home and the place of work or education and training
  • Travel for consultations and care that cannot be provided remotely and cannot be postponed or for the purchase of health products
  • Displacement for compelling family reasons, for assistance to vulnerable and precarious people or for childcare
  • Movement of people with disabilities and their carers
  • Travel in response to a judicial or administrative summons
  • Travel to participate in missions of general interest at the request of the administrative authority
  • Transit-related journeys for long-distance journeys
  • Short trips, within a maximum radius of one kilometre around the home for the needs of pets

What format can these certificates be used?

You can download the forms from the website of the Ministry of the Interior (in digital format, pdf, docx, txt, falc) print them out and fill them in. There is also a version in English available.

A digital attestation generator is again accessible on the site to fill in and keep it on your smartphone.

It is also possible to handwrite the travel waiver attestation on a blank piece of paper. The date and time of the start of the outing must be written.

**For business trips, a specific document must be filled in. It can be downloaded from the same page in pdf, docx and txt format.

Website: https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/L-actu-du-Ministere/Attestations-de-deplacement-couvre-feu

PENALTIES

Failure to respect the curfew will result in the following fines:

First penalty: a fine of 135 euros, increased to 375 euros (in the event of non-payment or non-contestation within the period indicated on the notice of offence).

In the event of a repeat offence within 15 days: a fine of 200 euros, increased to 450 euros (in the event of non-payment or non-contestation within the time limit indicated on the fine notice)

In the event of 3 offences in 30 days: a fine of 3,750 euros and possible punishment of 6 months imprisonment. 

AFFECTS TO BUSINESSES AND PUBLIC SPACES

The government ensures that public transport will continue to operate even during the curfew, particularly to meet the needs of exemptions.

Telecommuting, when the profession allows it, is strongly recommended.

The government states on its website: "Within the perimeters affected by the curfew, bars (that don’t serve food), sports facilities, games rooms, fairs and exhibitions will be closed all day and funfairs will be banned.”

Institutions receiving the public in the open air, such as stadiums, will be subject to the 1,000-person limit. All institutions open to the public will not be able to accommodate students after 21:00. However, "Economic activities taking place on the public streets (building sites, filming) will be able to continue to be carried out,".

There is a concerning rate of infection showing at universities. Higher education establishments will only be allowed to accommodate 50% of students in person. 

FURTHER MEASURES

Weddings, student parties or other parties in appropriate ballrooms are temporarily banned throughout France. In restaurants, a maximum of six guests are allowed to sit at a table, whose contact details would have to be recorded in order to be able to reach them later if necessary. Even in private settings, meetings should be limited to six people, and wearing a mask for private contacts is also recommended. You can go on vacation during the two-week autumn vacation that starts across the country at the weekend - in compliance with all hygiene regulations, of course. An appeal to companies remains vague, for example, to arrange two or three days of home office if possible. 

As the French Health Ministry states on their website: “The health situation continues to deteriorate in France and the virus is still dangerous for us and our loved ones. It is imperative to remain vigilant in the face of the Covid-19 epidemic.”