France’s Covid-19 curfew ends after over half a year in place

Several departments in France had been under a either a curfew or lockdown since October 17, 2020

21 June 2021
A man with a facemask checks his watch

France's national curfew completely ended on June 20, 2021 Pic: TeodorLazarev / Shutterstock

France’s national night-time curfew, which was recently eased to 23:00 and 06:00, ended completely yesterday (June 20), 10 days earlier than planned. 

Prime Minister Jean Castex said on June 16 that the Covid-19 situation was improving “quicker than we had hoped” and lifted the curfew. 

France is averaging just over 2,500 new cases of Covid-19 per day, with that number rapidly falling week-on-week. The number of people in hospital and intensive care units is also dropping as is the number of deaths per day due to Covid-19.

Coronavirus: Daily updates on the situation in France

History of the curfew

Sixteen departments in France were either under a curfew or a lockdown between October 17, 2020 and June 20, 2021, with the exception of December 25, 2020. 

A further 38 departments were subject to the same measures from October 23. 

In that time, there were two periods of lockdown, between October 30 to December 15, 2020 and April 3 to May 2, 2021.

The whole of metropolitan France was under either a curfew or a lockdown from October 30, 2020 to June 20, 2021.

End of the ‘attestation’

The end of the curfew in France means the end of the exemption certificate (attestation de déplacement) for going out.

There were a limited number of reasons people could go out during the curfew hours, such as walking a dog, seeking vital health care or for work-related reasons.

Bars and restaurants to stay open later

The good news for night owls is that bars and restaurants can now remain open into the early hours of the morning.

In recent weeks, the authorities have been more relaxed about France’s night-time curfew. On June 11, spectators at the semi-final of tennis tournament Roland-Garros were allowed to remain in the stands past 23:00 to watch the conclusion of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic’s contest. 

And on June 15, police were told to be lenient with football supporters returning home later than 23:00 after France’s first match of the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament.

Late night cinema screenings

The 22:00 showings of films in cinemas is possible again. 

There is still a limit of 65% capacity in cinemas but that will end on June 30. 

The 35th edition of France’s Fête du Cinéma will take place between June 30 and July 4 this year, with many film screenings available at just €4.

Read more:

Fête de la musique: What you can and cannot do this year

Covid-19: In what situations are facemasks still mandatory in France?

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