Two in a car: allowed or not?

Your recent e-newsletter contained an article dated 20/04 which states that a couple cannot go out in a car together. On the government website to which you show the link it states "Le covoiturage est possible pour effectuer les déplacements autorisés. Chaque passager du véhicule doit être muni d’une attestation, ou d’un justificatif de déplacement professionnel, en règle." This seems to be a contradiction. Could you clarify?

We understand the confusion and it stems from the translation of the word ‘covoiturage’. Covoiturage (car sharing) is when two people share a car as two journeys would otherwise be necessary, for example, colleagues can share a car to work and it is known as covoiturage. It does not relate to a couple who choose to go out together to do the shopping.

With relation to Covid-19 covoiturage is allowed in the sense of driving someone (not necessarily from the same home) to a place such as the supermarket, to the doctor, to work etc, if otherwise they could not make this journey, perhaps because they do not drive. In such circumstances both of you will need to complete the form accordingly.

Two people in a car is also permitted if for example someone has to do the shopping and they cannot leave another person alone at home, either because they are too young, or may have a condition such as Alzheimer’s and there is no other alternative care solution.

However, it is strongly recommended to go shopping alone whenever you can.

We contacted the Covid-19 government helpline and asked if a couple can drive to the shops together purely because they want to shop as a couple and the helpline worker said: “If there is no necessary reason for you to be two in the car, you can be fined by the gendarmes. Also some shops are refusing to let couples go shopping together. It is more risky and it is much better to go alone.”

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