CÔTE D'AZUR & PROVENCE
As of 11 May, France was no longer under lockdown for the regions marked ‘green’, which includes most of the hexagon, including the south. But there are a series of regulations and sanitary guideline in place, so while we feel like we have new sudden freedom, this is only the first phase. Here we go over what you need to know, what is opening, what is still closed, and how far from home you can travel.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe spoke to the National Assembly at the end of April, outlining the conditions for ‘déconfinement’ on the 11th. Though many restrictions were lifted, there will be a gradual return to work, school and business.
We no longer need an attestation to leave our homes, however, there is still a 100km travel limit in place and we must stay within our region (even if within the 100km). If further travel is required, an attestation and a valid proof of necessity will be required. The new attention form can found here. Public transportation has resumed to near-normal schedules. The buses from Nice to Sophia are regular. The SCNF is running a near-normal schedule with 3 out of 4 trains and are disinfected at least once per day. Masks are mandatory to ride on public transport.
The French border remains closed with both Monaco and Italy unless you have proof of work.
Domestic flights within France are expected to resume in June. International travel is still prohibited except for outstanding circumstances. EU countries are slowly announcing the opening of their borders, including Italy and Spain for early June. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has recommended that inter-European flights resume by July, however, no decisions have been made at this stage. A mandatory 14-day quarantine for travellers is under consideration in each country.
There are "green" and "red" departments with correspondingly stronger and less strong easing. These were decided by the number of intensive care patients in the hospitals. The whole of the south, including the PACA and the Var, falls into the safe green zone. By early May, numbers continued to fall and the ICU patient numbers were back down to early March figures.
Wearing a protective mask is required in several public spaces, including shops, public transport (buses, trains and taxis). It is mandatory to wear a mask on public transport for three weeks from May 11th. School staff also had to wear masks. Companies need to provide their employees with masks. Numerous creative people are currently working on mask tailoring. Category 1 masks, for example, can be ordered from Bettimask in Monaco. Other masks should be available now in pharmacies and large stores.
On May 11th, the classes in the maternelles and elementary schools began reopening, with a class size limit to 15 students and 10 for the crèches. However, attendance remains voluntary and distance courses will still be available for the families who choose not to have their kids return. From 18 May, the collèges with the classes of the 6ème and 5ème grades could reopen - but only in departments with low virus spread. The return of the lycées will not be decided until the end of May.
Beaches, parks and natural spaces should be open by the 16th but the exact dates vary by location. Beach reopening depends on each city’s mayor applying to the region for permission. 16 applications have been submitted to the region and should be approved. The beaches in Nice and Cannes have already been approved and already open. The purpose of opening the beaches is to allow physical activity. Therefore, all individual sports are allowed, such as swimming, surfing, walking, running, etc. but not sitting, sunbathing or having a picnic.
Most parks and hiking trails are open with the caveat of keeping social distance.
Golf courses are also beginning to open; check with your local golf courses to verify.
All food markets, whether outdoors or in halls should be open provided they are able to comply with the applicable safety regulations of sanitising gel, masks and limited entrance.
All shops may also reopen on May 11th in compliance with safety regulations (this includes wearing masks for both staff and customers if the safety distance cannot be maintained). However, the prefecture could keep large shopping centres (more than 40,000 square meters) closed. The large shopping centres, Ploygone Riviera and Cap 3000 are open. Nice Etoile is also open and is receiving a special sanitary certification from the city of Nice for their safety precautions in place.
Cafes & Restaurants
Cafes, bars and restaurants must be closed until June 3rd at the earliest. A decision on reopening should be made in late May. However, many restaurants are open and offering takeaway and delivery. For a list of local merchants open, click here.
Museums & Libraries
Small museums, libraries and media libraries may reopen on May 11, but not large museums, cinemas, theatres, concert halls.
All events this summer with more than 5,000 participants. Specifically: No music festivals, sporting events or large trade fairs can take place before September 1st.