France curfew: FAQ on new attestation forms from December 15

New forms will be required if you need to leave the house during the 20:00-06:00 curfew from December 15. We answer key questions

13 December 2020
A police officer checks an attestation form in Bordeaux. France curfew: FAQ on new attestation forms from December 15Attestation forms will no longer be needed during the day as during lockdown, but they will be needed for between 20:00 and 06;00
By Hannah Thompson

More details have been revealed regarding the attestation forms that will be required to leave the house during the new curfew in France after lockdown lifts on December 15. We answer key questions.

The current lockdown is set to lift on Tuesday December 15. It will be replaced with a curfew from 20:00 to 06:00 across the entire country, except on December 24, to allow families to celebrate a French-style Christmas.

People will still be allowed to go out during the curfew hours for certain specific reasons. If they do, they must carry with them an exemption certificate (attestation de déplacement).

This will be “strictly controlled” due to the still-high daily cases of Covid-19, Prime Minister Jean Castex said during a press conference on Thursday. The latest figure of daily Covid cases is 13,947 - far from the government’s target of 5,000 per day by December 15.

Read more: Why must Covid cases reach 5,000 for French lockdown to end?

When will the new forms be available?

They will be downloadable from the government website - almost certainly in the same place as previous forms, here - on or after December 14. They will only be available after a public decree on the new rules is issued, which is expected to happen on December 14.

Do I need a form for during the day or just during the curfew hours?

No, from December 15 you will not need a form for going out during the day. The new forms will only apply to curfew hours (20:00-06:00).

What if I don’t have access to a printer?

As with previous attestation forms, you will be able to copy the necessary details out by hand on a blank piece of paper.

It is likely that they will also be available digitally for use on a smartphone or other device, as with previous forms.

Which areas are included in the curfew?

The whole of mainland France and Corsica, but not the overseas territories - such as Martinique and New Caledonia - which have their own curfew and restriction rules.

For what reasons can I use a form and leave my house?

Overall, the exceptions relate to unavoidable work, travelling between work and home, charity work, and reasons necessary for health, family, childcare or caring for a vulnerable person. You are also allowed to go out with your dog.

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

Interior minister Gérald Darmanin explained: “At 20:00, everyone must be at home, except for some exceptions. For example, [even] if the shops and services you are shopping in close at 20:00, you must ensure that you will be back home by 20:00.

“But if you work somewhere that closes at 20:00, you will be able to go home afterwards without a fine, as long as you tick the correct box on the attestation.”

 

Can I go out to do exercise after 20:00?

No. You are only allowed out to walk your dog.

Can I go to the theatre, museum, cinemas, bars, restaurants…?

No. Cinemas, theatres, museums, casinos and performance halls are set to stay closed until at least January 7.

Restaurants and cafés will remain closed until at least January 20. There has been no date set for when bars and nightclubs will be able to reopen.

Will I need other documents as well as the form?

For some trips, you may be asked for extra documents to prove your reason for being out. This may include an extra form signed by your employer, although this has not yet been confirmed.

Can I travel around France?

Yes, inter-regional travel will be allowed after December 15, but the curfew times still apply. Mr Darmanin said: “From 20:00, [people] must stop travelling with a few exceptions: a connection to take a train or plane.”

Can I take a train, plane, bus or ferry after 20:00 or before 06:00?

Yes, if your journey arrives after 20:00 or requires you to be out before 06:00, you will be able to show your ticket to prove your reason for being out.

However, you cannot be out in your car during the curfew, except on December 24.

What happens if you break the rules?

The fine for being out without a valid form or reason will be €135 for the first offence, rising to €375 if not paid on time or not contested within the time.

During lockdown, the fines rose to €200 per offence, rising to €450 in case of a second infraction within 15 days. For three fines within 30 days, the amount rose to €3,750 and the risk of up to six months in prison.

The amount set to be charged for multiple possible infractions of the curfew has not yet been confirmed.

Mr Darmanin has said: “[Law enforcement] will step up controls [during the curfew]. It is critical that these rules are respected by everyone to contain the epidemic.”

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