Inter-regional travel banned, schools remain open: France’s new partial lockdown rules - FRANCE 24 English

Inter-regional travel banned, schools remain open: France’s new partial lockdown rules - FRANCE 24 English

Issued on: 20/03/2021 – 14:32

The Paris metropolitan area is one of 16 French regions that went into a partial lockdown Saturday that will last for at least a month. The new restrictions seek to limit trips outside the home except for work or essential activities. FRANCE 24 takes a look at the new lockdown rules.

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The new partial lockdown attempts to stem the spread of Covid-19 while limiting the economic costs, making the restrictions very different from France’s two lockdowns last year.

Unlike earlier lockdowns, only 16 regions – including the Paris metropolitan area – have been put under a partial lockdown.

The government on Saturday announced that it would not be necessary for residents of the 16 affected regions to fill out an attestation form (as as it was in previous lockdowns) if they are going out within a 10 kilometre radius from their homes. They will simply be required to carry a proof of address.

For any travel further than 10 kilometres, an official attestation form will still be required. Forms issued by the interior ministry are available in English here.

“The certificate and justification of the reason for the journey will continue to be required for journeys of more than 10 kilometres (either within the department or for inter-regional journeys),” the government said in a statement.

A nighttime curfew starts at 7pm (it was previously 6pm) and ends at 6am. A declaration form is also currently mandatory for any travel during the curfew.

Inter-regional travel is prohibited from Saturday, except for “imperative or professional reasons”, according to the interior ministry website.

Failure to follow the rules will result in a 135 fine.

Schools stay open, work-at-home encouraged

For at least a month, primary schools and colleges (ages 11-15) will stay open as normal, but high schools (ages 16-18) will switch back to a hybrid half-at-home, half-at-school schedule.

On the other hand, outdoor sports and the extracurricular schedules will run normally, and parks remain open.

>> Read more on France’s doctrinaire position on open schools 

Adults are advised to work at home as much as possible. 

French Prime Minister Jean Castex on Thursday said guidelines for  companies and administrations to set up work-from-home measures for “at least four days” per week “are still far” from being followed.

A study by the Pasteur Institute published earlier this month showed that contamination at work accounted for 15 percent of identified cases of Covid-19.

What’s an ‘essential’ shopping spree?

Under the new restrictions, around 90,000 businesses will not be able to open, including around 25,000 businesses already closed in shopping centres across the country, according to a government statement.

Shops selling non-essential goods and services, including department stores, will be closed.

The list of essential stores include pharmacies, supermarkets, bookshops, hairdressers, shoe repairs, florists, chocolate shops, car dealerships and music stores.