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French PM clarifies new Covid-19 measures, curfew exemptions

Exemptions to the curfew measures, that will apply to nine cities in France, include going out for health or professional reasons

Prime Minister Jean Castex has laid out a series of clarifications on new coronavirus-related measures, that were announced by President Emmanuel Macron last night. 

Read our key takeaways from the president's speech here. 

In a live TV speech on Thursday, October 15, Mr Castex notably clarified the exemptions to the new curfew rules, that will apply to nine cities in France. 

The curfew will be in place between 21:00 and 06:00, and will come into force from this Saturday (October 17). 

Curfews will be introduced in Paris and all other departments in the Ile-de-France region, Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse

Exemptions to the curfew

  • Health reasons: To go to the hospital or to buy medicine in a pharmacy
  • Professional reasons: If you work at night or if your working hours do not allow you to be at home at 21:00
  • If you have to go to a relative in a situation of dependency
  • To take your pet out for a walk in the area near to your home
  • Certain useful establishments will remain open: Health, medical and social care establishments, care homes for the most vulnerable, hotels, restaurants that deliver home deliveries, and public establishments that provide evening and night services, such as police stations, etc.

Mr Castex said that a certificate of exemption will become available on the government website. He also said there is a toll-free number to call to ask for advice: 0 800 130 00.

In the same press conference, interior minister Gérald Darmanin confirmed that there would be a €135 fine for anyone caught breaking curfew. 

He added, “if ever there should be a repeat offence, i.e. if the police catch a person who cheats or does not comply with these rules three times, a sentence of six months imprisonment is possible as well as a fine of €3,750," he said. 

He also said 12,000 police officers would be deployed specifically to enforce curfew measures. 

Other new measures

Mr Castex announced a series of new measures that will apply to the whole country. 

  • Universities and higher education institutes should limit the number of people in classes to 50%. 
  • Private parties, such as for weddings or student parties, will be banned from Saturday
  • All restaurants will have to apply new sanitary protocols
  • In every public building where there is seating (cinemas, theatres, etc) only every other seat can be occupied
  • In all places where people circulate standing up, the number of people will be regulated
  • Work from home: Companies, especially those in the areas where there are curfew measures, should state a minimum number of days that (where possible) employees can work from home

Read more:

France declares state of health emergency

Coronavirus: France records 23,000 cases in last 24 hours

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