France lockdown: Will church services continue?

Places of worship will remain open during the lockdown

3 November 2020
People will need to fill out an exemption form before visiting a place of worship during the lockdown
By Connexion journalist

Reader question: I understand churches are open, does that mean church services will continue?

No. The government decreed that while places of worship remain open during the second lockdown, only funeral services attended by a maximum of 30 people will be permitted. 

Although the Conférence des évêques de France and l'Église catholique de Corse suggested people could add a hand-written line explaining they were attending mass, that exemption will no longer apply from 3rd November. 

People wishing to visit their local church can do so individually or with members of their own household, under the one-hour, 1km exercise limit. 

You will need an attestation dérogatoire de déplacement, and tick the box which begins: "Déplacements brefs, dans la limite d'une heure quotidienne et dans un rayon maximal d'un kilomètre autour du domicile". 

Five bishops announced on Monday, November 2 that they have lodged appeals with the Conseil d'État to get the ban on masses lifted.

They are demanding that, within four days, the prime minister amend the decree on two points. Firstly, the decree must "regulate gatherings and meetings in places of worship by limiting their duration to 90 minutes and prescribing all useful measures to prevent the spread of the virus". Secondly, it must "allow people to go to a place of worship more than one kilometre away from their homes".

The Conseil d'État has confirmed that "several appeals to this effect have indeed been lodged". There are no further updates for now. 

Read more about France's lockdown:

Which shops can stay open during lockdown in France?

France lockdown: The exemption forms you need

Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now