France lockdown: Can I visit my husband in hospital?

Hospital visits are permitted in some circumstances. Check with the hospital before going there in person.

3 November 2020
By Joanna York

Reader question: This month my husband was diagnosed with oesophagus cancer and is in hospital. For the first time in 44 years, I am living alone. Can I visit him in hospital during confinement? Are there any resources I can turn to for emotional support?

During the last confinement, hospital visits were not allowed except in exceptional circumstance. 

Penelope Parkinson, President of Cancer Support France (CSF) explains: “Judging by the last confinement, people were not allowed to visit unless somebody was dying. [Then] people were allowed to go in clad in PPE to hold the hand of their partner, or parent.”

However, the government have not yet specified whether this rule still stands for France’s second confinement, and Ms Parkinson believes it is likely to vary from hospital to hospital and region to region. 

The simplest way to find out is to call the hospital your loved one is staying in to discuss it with them. CSF can also provide language assistance to help with this. Ms Parkinson said: “We have people who are bilingual who can talk to the particular hospital to find out if there is some way that somebody could get access to see their loved one.” 

If you are allowed to visit, you will need a travel exemption form with the déplacements pour motif familial impérieux box ticked. You will also need to follow health and safety protocol recommended by the hospital during your visit. 

The travel exemption form is available to print and download here (in French). There is an English version available and also an easy-read version with pictograms. There is also a digital version available via the TousAntiCovid smartphone app.

CSF also runs a helpline offering support for a range of problems, from struggling with health issues to living alone for the first time. Services will continue during the Covid-19 crisis, via telephone and online at 0800 240 200 / helpline@cancersupportfrance.org.

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