Two days ago (Saturday March 14), Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that all restaurants, bars, cafes and ‘non-essential’ shops, cinemas and nightclubs throughout France would remain closed until further notice.
Food shops and markets, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks and newsagents - and certain public services - were permitted to stay open. Religious buildings were allowed to stay open, but all ceremonies and gatherings required to be cancelled. La Poste can also open but in reality, 1,000 offices were opened today at 11.00am. 80% of the postmen make their rounds. La Poste warns that adjustments may be made according to the evolution of the epidemic.
Mr Philippe also asked people to stay at least one metre away from other people in the event that you need to leave the house, queue, or buy food.
Today, the French director general of health Jérôme Salomon said that the epidemic situation in France was “very worrying [and] deteriorating very quickly”, and warned that “the distance of one metre [between people] is not being respected”.
There are now 5,423 confirmed cases in France, and 127 people have died, said the latest update on Sunday March 15.
Some open locations, such as bakeries, have imposed some of their own safety measures, including this one in Grand Est, which is only serving three people at a time.
My local boulangerie is only letting 3 people in at a time this morning. Everyone patiently lining up outside. Great to see measures in effect so quickly. pic.twitter.com/myr7xv90po— Carlie Bonavia (@carliebonavia) March 15, 2020
The full list of locations permitted to stay open was published by national decree on March 15. These places are permitted to stay “open to the public for the stated activities”.
The list comprises:
Food and drink
- Retail sale of frozen food products
- General food trade
- Convenience stores
- Specialist fruit and vegetable shops (grocer)
- Specialist meat and meat products shops (butcher)
- Specialist fish, crustaceans and molluscs shops (fishmonger)
- Specialist bread, pastry and confectionery shops (bakery)
- Retail sale of beverages
- Other specialist food shops
- Retail sale of pet food and pet supplies
- Gardening supply shops that also stock animal food (like Gamm Vert)
- Food retailing on stalls and markets
- Sale by vending machines and other retail sale not in stores, stalls or markets
Food banks and food charities
- Food distribution by charitable associations
Petrol stations and garages
- Maintenance and repair of motor vehicles, agricultural vehicles, machinery and equipment
- Trade in automotive equipment
- Sale and repair of motorcycles and cycles
- Retail sale of fuel in specialised stores
Media, technology and computers
- Retail sale of newspapers and stationery in specialised stores
- Retail sale of information and communication equipment in specialised stores
- Retail sale of computers, peripheral units and software in specialised stores
- Retail sale of telecommunications equipment in specialised stores
- Repair of computers and personal and household goods
- Repair of computers and communication equipment
- Repair of computers and peripheral equipment
- Repair of communication equipment
Pharmacies and medical
- Retail sale of pharmaceutical products in specialised stores
- Retail sale of medical and orthopaedic articles in specialised stores
Laundry and dry cleaning
- Laundry and dry-cleaning services
- Wholesale laundry and dry cleaning
- Retail laundry and dry cleaning
Hotels and accommodation
- Hotels and similar accommodation
- Tourist and other short-term accommodation where it constitutes a regular place of residence for the persons living there
- Campgrounds and parks for caravans or recreational vehicles where they are a regular place of residence for the persons living there
- Funeral services and funeral offices
Banks, finance, insurance and employment
- Activities of labour placement agencies
- Activities of temporary employment agencies
- Financial and insurance activities
Farming, construction and equipment stores
- Farm suppliers
- Retail sale of building materials, hardware, paints and glass in specialised stores
- Rental and leasing of other machinery, equipment and property
- Rental and leasing of agricultural machinery and equipment
- Rental and leasing of construction machinery and equipment
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France
The French government has issued health advice to help stop the virus from spreading.
This advice includes:
- Keep a 1 metre distance between yourself and others.
- Wash your hands with soap or hydro-alcoholic sanitiser gel frequently.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than your hands.
- Use single use tissues and dispose immediately after use.
- Do not shake hands, or greet people with kisses on the cheek.
- If you are sick, stay at home and wear a mask in the company of others.
If you believe you are sick, do not go to the hospital or visit your local doctor as you may infect others. Instead call your local doctor and take paracetamol for the fever. Do not take anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or cortisone to treat the possible symptoms of Covid-19 as these could actually worsen the infection.
If you have returned from a high risk area, including China (mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao); Singapore, South Korea, Iran or the Lombardy and Veneto regions of Italy, and present symptoms of respiratory infection such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing within 14 days of your return, call the SAMU emergency number, 15. Do not go to your local hospital or doctor.
A free hotline service can answer your questions about the coronavirus Covid-19 non-stop, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 0800 130 000. It cannot give medical advice.
- Covid-19 in France: France-UK travel update
- Covid-19 in France: Transport gradually reduced
- Covid-19 in France: What is ‘social distancing’?
- Coronavirus: French ski stations to close
- Covid-19 in France: A second wave?
- Covid-19 in France: Limit trips
- Covid-19: 'Ibuprofen can worsen infection'
- Covid-19: Restaurants, cafes, non-food shops to close
- Covid-19 in France: What impact on work?
- Covid-19 in France: cinemas, sport, Brexit talks