April is beat-Covid month in France as hospitalizations and infections have hit critical highs again. French President Emmanuel Macron has just announced an extension of the lockdown already in place in the Alpes Maritimes, Paris and 17 other departments to the whole of France.
Lockdown From April 3rd
The whole of France will be placed under a limited lockdown for four weeks from Saturday April 3rd. If the lockdown succeeds in reducing the infection rate and the pressure on hospitals, it is planned to end on May 2nd. Note however that restrictions have often been extended beyond the initially planned end dates.
It is a relatively flexible lockdown but the rules have been tightened somewhat.
There will be closure of certain non-essential shops (hairdressers, bookshops and music shops can remain open though) and there are stricter limits on interregional travel.
And as expected schools are to be closed.
Going Out Within 10 kms
There will be no attestation to move around during the day within a limit of 10km for these reasons:
- Physical exercise, walking, walking the dog (within 10 km of your home)
- Shopping for basic necessities, or to pick up ordered goods
- Accompanying children to school or out-of-school activities
- Visiting a cultural establishment (libraries and media libraries) or a place of worship
- Attending to administrative or legal formalities.
There is a 7pm to 6am curfew.
For travelling outside a department an attestation is required stating one or more of the following reasons:
- For work, education and training, general interest missions
- Health reasons (consultations and care/treatment)
- Compelling family reasons, to help vulnerable or needy persons, or for childcare
- Transporting people with disabilities and their carers
- Judicial or administrative summons
- Moving home
- Transit travel to stations and airports
According to the attestation those living close to the border of their department are allowed to travel up to 30km from their home for the above reasons.
Flexibility at Easter
President Emmanuel Macron announced that the rules on regional travel would be relaxed over Easter weekend and to allow people to change their place of residence for the duration of the new restrictions.
Remote Work Emphasized
Everyone who can should work from home, although there is still an exemption for one day a week of work in the workplace for people who feel their mental health is being affected by 100 percent home-working.
Monday, April 5th – School premises to close with a week of distance learning for infant, primary, secondary and high schools.
Monday, April 12th – The start of the two-week Easter holiday for all schools, across all areas of France
Monday, April 26th – Return of infant and primary (maternelles and primaires) classes – secondary and high schools to continue with distance learning
Monday, May 3rd – secondary and high schools return to classes.
University students on the other hand will be allowed to attend classes one day a week.