Seven changes in France for residents from August 2021

Gas and electricity prices go up, the Covid health pass extends to restaurants and other venues and millions of families get aid for children to do more sport

29 July 2021
Ticket restos, girls' football, saving money and a gas burner. Seven changes in France for residents from August 2021

Ticket restaurants from 2020 are valid until the end of August Pic: Monkey Business Images / Nattakorn_Maneerat / JazzLove / sylv1rob1 / Shutterstock

By Joanna York

Use of the health pass will be introduced in a wider range of public spaces from early August, including bars, restaurants and for long-distance travel in France.

We explain what else is changing in France in August. 

Gas prices increasing 

Regulated natural gas prices from Engie will go up 5.3% from August 1, after already rising nearly 10% in July, for nearly 3.1million households in France. 

The price hike is due to rising prices from international producers and high demand for gas in Asia driving up international prices. Low temperatures over winter have also meant European stocks are lower than usual, and maintenance operations in the North Sea have also contributed to higher costs.

Prices can also depend on the tariff zone a household is in, and which energy classification the household has.

Gas prices have increased every month in 2021 so far, apart from in April when they fell 4.1%.

Rise in electricity prices

Electricity prices will go up an average of 0.91% for consumers who use high tension A (HTA) provision, and are expected to go up 1.39% per year between 2021-2025. For consumers who use high tension B (HTB), increases will be 1.09% and 1.57% respectively.

HTA and HTB are high-tension lines that form a network that enables the transmission and supply of electricity on a local or regional scale.

This is due to costs for adaptation work on electricity networks to convert to renewable energy along with maintenance and improvement costs, otherwise known as TURPEs (Les tarifs d'utilisation des réseaux publics d'électricité)

TURPE costs are adjusted annually, and represent 30-40% of electricity bills for households and businesses.

Health pass to be used in more public spaces

The health pass (pass sanitaire) is expected to be required to access a wider range of public areas from August 9 (date to be confirmed August 5).

These include cafes, bars and restaurants (including terraces), hospitals and retirement homes.

It will also be required on planes, TGV and Intercité trains and coaches for long-distance travel within France.

The health pass will not be required for access to shopping centres nationally. Regional and departmental officials will have the right to implement use of the pass in shopping centres if the local health situation worsens.

Read more: New French health pass rules will start August 9, says government 

Last month to use 2020 ticket restaurants

Ticket restaurants from 2020 can be used until August 31, after their validity period was extended due to the health crisis. 

They can be used in restaurants, supermarkets and also for click and collect and meal delivery services in participating establishments.

Interest rates for Livret A, PEL, LEP, LDDS

It is expected that the Economy Ministry will follow recommendations from the Banque de France and announce on August 1 that interest rates on Livret A savings accounts will remain at 0.5%.

PEL (plan d’épargne logement) holders can expect interest rates to stay at 1%. 

LDDS (livret de développement durable et solidaire) holders can expect rates stay at 0.5% and interest rates for LEPs (livret d’épargne populaire) are expected to remain 1%.

Rates for LEE (livret d’épargne d’entreprise) and CEL (compte épargne logement) are based on Livret A rates, and consequently are not expected to change. 

Deadline for Covid-19 financial support for businesses

Businesses have until August 31 to make a claim for financial aid for losses incurred in June 2021 due to the health crisis.

Funds include compensation of up to 40% for loss of activity in June 2021 compared with June 2019, 30% for loss of activity in July 2021 compared with July 2019, and 20% for loss of activity in August 2021 compared with August 2019.

Businesses who want to claim chômage partiel for employees can still do so, but the rate of compensation offered to businesses in the worst-affected sectors is going down. 

From August, the state will cover 52% of costs, decreasing to 36% in September 2021. Businesses will have to cover 25% in August and 40% in September. 

For employees, the amount they receive will go down to 60% of their salary before tax (72% net) from September.

Pass’Sport fund for children and teens 

From August 15 children aged 6-17 whose families are eligible for financial support for the start of the new academic year or because their children have disabilities will have access to a €50 fund that can be put towards signing up for a sports club from September 2021.

Around 3.3 million eligible families will receive the pass’sport by mail to be used at participating sports clubs before October 31.

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