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Six questions on the semi-lockdown starting across France Saturday

Can we meet friends? Is hunting still allowed? What about Easter weekend travel? We answer your queries on the new rules

2 April 2021
Group sitting by the water. Six questions on the semi-lockdown starting across France SaturdayIt is recommended that people meet outside and limit gatherings to groups of six
By Joanna York

Semi-confinement starts throughout all of France on Saturday evening. We answer your questions about what is allowed, or not, under the new rules.

1: Can we meet up with friends or another couple?

Ahead of Easter and Ramadan, President Emmanuel Macron said people should “avoid public gatherings, parties with friends, family and loved ones,” as they did at Christmas. 

But this is a strong recommendation rather than a law as the government cannot regulate what people do in their own homes. 

As such, you can meet other people but it is recommended that you do so outside and that gatherings are limited to six people. 

There are a few exceptions to the six-person rule, including family gatherings, funerals, authorised protests, public ceremonies, professional activities, authorised sports and transport. 

From April, drinking alcohol in public is not permitted, including in parks and outside of bars.

2 : President Macron said travel is possible over Easter weekend but the confinement starts on Saturday evening: What’s possible? 

Travel is allowed during the Easter weekend in some circumstances. 

The President said: “People who want to change regions to go and stay somewhere else during the semi-confinement can do so during the Easter weekend.”  

The interior ministry has since clarified that this applies to journeys taken in the daytime in order to spend the coming weeks in a place of one’s choosing. 

The travel allowance starts on Saturday April 3 and ends in the evening on Monday, April 5.

Travel exemption forms are not needed for these journeys. However, the authorities advise you to take a document with you to justify your destination and prove that you are not just going away for the weekend.

People who are currently away from their main home but want to spend the semi-confinement there should also return before curfew begins at 19:00 on April 5.  

3 : Is hunting still allowed during this new lockdown?

Hunting and fishing is allowed from 6:00-19:00, outside of curfew hours.

Big game hunters who travel long distances during hunts and need to leave and return home outside of curfew hours must carry a travel exemption form during these hours, ticking the intérêt general box.

Night-time fishing is allowed, as long as fishermen set up in their location before 19:00 and do not leave until after 6:00 the following morning. 

4: Can we still go to forests, parks and other nature spaces?

Parks, gardens and green spaces will stay open to the public in towns and cities, as will beaches, lakes and other water sites.

5: I have a vaccine appointment over 10km from where I live. Can I go?

Yes, you can attend medical appointments, including vaccine appointments, regardless of distance. 

You must carry a travel exemption form with you in the day time, ticking the boxes Déplacement sans limitation de distance and the seventh reason Santé.

You should also carry proof of your appointment.

6:  We’re trying to sell our (main) home in France, can visits still take place?

Property visits in order to buy, sell or rent a primary residence are allowed if they cannot be postponed.

Visits must take place in the daytime, outside of curfew hours.

This does not apply to visits to second homes.

Related stories

New semi-confinement in France: What you can and cannot do

Macron: Semi-confinement to extend to all France, schools to close

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