Which departments in France are low risk for coronavirus?

Reader question: I see a lot of news about France’s high alert zones, but I want to know which areas of the country are the safest to visit?

1 October 2020
A map showing the different levels of alert in France by departmentA map showing the different levels of alert in France by department
By Connexion journalist

The French government recently introduced a new five-tiered alert system that separates departments into different zones, depending on how badly they are affected by coronavirus. 

The five zones are:

  • Green zone (zone verte) 

  • Alert zone (zone alerte) 

  • Heightened alert zone (zone alerte renforcée)

  • Maximum alert zone (zone Alerte maximale)

  • State of health emergency (état d’urgence sanitaire territorial)

There are currently 32 departments in the green zone.

These are departments where less than 50 people per 100,000 inhabitants have tested positive for coronavirus over a period of seven days. 

“The virus is circulating, but at a moderate level,” France’s health ministry notes. 

32 green zone departments

Aisne - Laon

Allier - Moulins

Hautes-Alpes - Gap

Ardèche - Privas

Ardennes - Charleville-Mézières

Aube - Troyes

Cantal - Aurillac

Charente-Maritime - La Rochelle

Cher - Bourges

Corrèze -Tulle

Côtes-d'Armor - Saint-Brieuc

Creuse - Guéret

Dordogne - Périgueux

Eure-et-Loir - Chartres

Finistère - Quimper

Indre - Châteauroux

Jura - Lons-le-Saunier

Loir-et-Cher - Blois

Lot - Cahors

Lot-et-Garonne - Agen

Manche - Saint-Lô

Mayenne - Laval

Meuse - Bar-le-Duc

Moselle - Metz

Orne - Alençon

Haut-Rhin - Colmar

Haute-Saône - Vesoul

Haute-Savoie - Annecy

Deux-Sèvres - Niort

Vendée - La Roche-sur-Yon

Vosges - Épinal

Yonne - Auxerre

A total of 71 departments are classified in the next alert level up, the alert zone. These are departments where more than 50 people per 100,000 inhabitants test positive for the virus over a period of seven days, but circulation of the virus among the elderly remains low and there is no strong impact on intensive care facilities. 

To find out which zone your department is in you should check with your local prefecture. Each department in France has different measures and restrictions related to controlling the spread of coronavirus.

Decisions on alert levels are to be announced every week.

Read more about coronavirus in France:

Anger in Marseille as bars and restaurants ordered to close

Can I go to the gym or sports centre in my French town?

Covid-19: Paris bars and restaurants risk closure

Why a second national lockdown in France can't be ruled out

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