Covid France: What you can (and cannot) do from December 15

End of lockdown but start of a curfew, end of day-time attestations but forms still needed to go out after 20:00...we explain what changes in this second stage of deconfinement. 

11 December 2020
By Connexion journalist

France has now exited its second lockdown of 2020, with a 20:00 to 06:00 curfew coming into effect instead. 

The restrictions that replace the lockdown are stricter than President Emmanuel Macron announced in a speech on November 24, due to the fact that France’s Covid-19 cases have not dropped to below an average of 5,000 per day. 

We explain what is now possible. 

Go out freely during the day

The end of lockdown means the end of exemption forms (attestations de déplacement) during the day and the end of limitations on how far you can go from home and for how long. 

It is possible to meet with friends and family again, outside or inside. 

The attestations, however, remain in place for outings during curfew hours, which have now been set at 20:00 to 06:00. 

During these hours, you can only go out for essential reasons, such as medical or family emergencies, travel to and from work, taking pets for a walk or catching a plane or train.

Easy-look guide for going out during curfew hours in France

You are not allowed to go out during this time to exercise or to go shopping.

If you do have to go out during the curfew, you need to fill out an exemption form (attestation de déplacement), available on the government's website here

Go on holiday

Inter-regional travel in France is again allowed. 

“People in France will be able to move from region to region," the Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said on December 10. "From 20:00, [people] must stop travelling with a few exceptions: a connection to take a train or plane".

There is no limitation on how far you can travel, as long as you respect the curfew.

As for international travel, the French government is advising anyone going abroad to check the rules regarding their destination country before travelling. 

France's train and plane services to increase over Christmas

Celebrate on December 24, but not 31

On December 24 only there will not be a curfew. This means anyone celebrating a French style Christmas at a friend or family member’s house will be able to stay as late as they wish. 

The government is advising that no more than six adults get together for Christmas and that they should take care to limit interactions with other people in the five days leading up to the meal. 

This is the only day there will be an exception to the curfew.

President Macron had stated that there would also be an exception on December 31 for the New Year, but this has now been changed due to the number of Covid-19 cases. This means anyone celebrating New Year together will have to stay indoors, wherever they are, between 20:00 and 06:00. 

Children can again do indoor sports

Children attending school in France can now return to indoor sports halls, gyms and swimming pools. They have been allowed to practise outdoor sports since the end of November.

Residents of retirement homes can visit their families

Care home residents are now allowed to go out to visit the homes of their loved ones. The government is advising that anyone who is hosting an elderly relative or friend take as much care as possible to limit the possibility of spreading Covid-19 and also get a test to be extra safe. 

What can I not do?

Go to Cinemas, theatres, museums, casinos, salles de spectacles

The above places will remain closed until at least January 7. 

They had been set to open on December 15 but now face an extra three weeks of closed doors. 

Go to restaurants, cafés, bars...

Restaurants and cafés will remain closed until at least January 20. 

As for bars and nightclubs, there is no date for when they will be able to reopen. 


The mountains are open but ski lifts and other facilities will remain closed. France's Prime Minister Jean Castex has mentioned the possibility of them being reopened on January 7.

People are allowed to go cross-country skiing in the mountains if they wish. 

Read more:

Coronavirus, lockdown and new rules in France: Daily updates

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