Coronavirus COVID-19: the situation in France

Recommendations, hygienic measures taken, restrictions: read on for the French government's recommendations.

For all government recommendations and information on the measures in place in France, consult the Government / Coronavirus Info site. (External link)


Movement outside or from European space is prohibited. A re-evaluation will be carried out at European level on June 15.

Quarantine or isolation measures are possible for people who enter the territory and do not come from the European zone.

For more information: Coronavirus - Advice for Foreign Nationals in France from the French Foreign Ministry (External link)

Foreign nationals currently staying in France are encouraged to contact their embassy, airline and, if applicable, the company organizing their trip (tour operator or travel agency).
Information in the event of cancellation or postponement:
• Air France:
• SNCF: (External link)
• Thalys: (External link)
• Eurostar: (External link)

From May 11

A confinement or lockdown system was put in place throughout France on March 17 to May 10. New measures will take effect on May 11.

  • Travel is again authorized within a radius of 100 km (62 miles) around the home. For people traveling by car, it is necessary to have a proof of address such as a checkbook, an identity document, a proof of insurance of the car, or an invoice.
  • However, travel beyond 100 km (62 miles) as the crow flies from their current place of residence is prohibited, except within the same department.
  • Exemptions are possible for compelling professional or family reasons such as death or assistance to a vulnerable person. Checks will be carried out at stations, terminals, on roads and motorways and the fine will be €135 for those found violating these guidelines. Create your travel declaration on the website of the Ministry of the Interior (External link) (French)

Please consult the frequently asked questions about Covid-19 on the government website: (External link)

Red zones and green zones

From May 11, red and green zones have been established depending on the level of circulation of the virus in the area.

In red zones, in addition to the measures described below, additional restrictions may apply, such as the closure of parks and gardens until further notice, and the prohibition in the Paris Region of using public transport during rush hour for non-business reasons.

In all zones, while respecting barrier gestures and distance measures, the following apply:

  • Authorization of gatherings of up to 10 people in public and private spaces.
  • Reopening of all shops and services in addition to pharmacies, food shops, banks, tobacconists, petrol stations. Wearing a mask is recommended and may be required by institutional management. Note that the open air markets can open on special dispensation, while the shopping centers of more than 40,000 m2 (430556 ft2) remain closed until further notice.
  • Reopening of forests.
  • Closing at least until June 2 of places that represent a strong public gathering, such as bars, restaurants, performance halls, cinemas, theaters as well as major museums. Note that small museums, media libraries and libraries are allowed to reopen on May 11, and that bars and restaurants can supply take out.
  • Hotels can remain open while practicing room service, as was the case during the first period of confinement.
  • Beaches and lakes closed at least until June 2, unless special dispensations from prefects on request from the mayor of the municipality concerned are granted.
  • The suspension at least until September of the organization of major festivals, sporting events and gatherings of more than 5,000 people.
  • The practice of individual sports is authorized but that of collective sports remains prohibited.
  • Public services remain open, and in particular transport services, with an adaptation of the frequency and specific protection and social distancing measures: occupancy reduced to one seat out of two, wearing of a compulsory mask in public transport, taxis and private rideshares, limitation of traffic between departments, reduced interregional transport. See especially the SNCF (External link) and RATP (External link) websites for more info.
  • The ban on vessels of more than 100 passengers bound for Corsica; and to stop over or anchor in the internal waters and territorial waters of the overseas departments and regions (Islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, French Polynesia), as well as Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, and Wallis-et-Futuna, unless permission granted by the representative of the germane state for these same communities.
  • A gradual reopening of the schools is planned from May 11, except for higher education establishments which will remain closed until the summer.
  • People of France are also strongly encouraged to telecommute from Monday, March 16 whenever possible, and to practice staggered schedules so as not to create crowds in transport.

FAQs on COVID-19 from the French governement (French) (External link)

What are the ‘barrier actions’ to be respected in order to limit the spread of coronavirus?

There are simple actions to protect your health and that of those around you:
• Wash your hands very regularly
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow
• Use and dispose of single-use tissues
• Greet without shaking hands and avoid hugging or kissing
• Wear a mask if you are showing symptoms
• Wear a mask in taxis and rideshares