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Tax, no drinking, clocks: Dates in October to note in France

From a new Covid booster campaign to Sober October, tax deadlines, and daylight savings for winter, we list some dates to note in France over the coming month

A photo of someone turning a clock back to show October daylight savings change

The clocks going back is just one date to bear in mind this October in France Pic: Zephyr_p / Shutterstock

As summer definitively concedes to autumn, here are some key dates and events to bear in mind.

October 1-31: Sober October

The Sober October campaign, in which participants take the month off from drinking alcohol, is gaining in popularity in France. Originally from Australia, the trend has spread across the world and is now also associated with raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support. 

The aim is to give your body a break from alcohol after the summer aperitif season, and before party and Christmas season begins. This is said to bring better sleep, skin, and overall health. 

October 1-31: Pink October

The 29th annual edition of Pink October (Octobre Rose) began on October 1 and is set to last until October 31. It aims to raise awareness of breast cancer (and how to check for it) as well as fundraising for cancer research. 

There are 60,000 new cases per year in France, and it is the most deadly. However, if detected early, 90% of cases are cured within five years.

October 1: Prevention passport

The ‘passeport prévention’ came into force on October 1, and is used in professional settings to show the employee’s qualifications and training in first aid and/or health and safety.

October 3: New Covid booster campaign for at-risk people

Updated Covid vaccines specially designed to target subvariants of the Covid-19 Omicron strain are to be rolled out to vulnerable groups across France from October 3.

Health Minister François Braun confirmed the news. He said that the campaign for "a new booster dose for target populations" was being rolled out rapidly in response to rising cases and what he called a “return in the circulation of the virus”.

He said: “This will concern fragile people, the over-60s, health professionals and people who are in contact with fragile people.”

These groups include people aged 60 or over and people under 60 who are at high risk, including those with underlying conditions, the immunosuppressed, children and teenagers at high risk, and pregnant women. Their immediate contacts will also be eligible.

Mr Braun added that the campaign would not, for the moment, concern the general public, but "of course, if you want to be vaccinated, you can".

Read more: New Covid vaccine campaign to begin for at-risk groups in France

October 6: National Day for Carers

La Journée nationale des aidants (JNA) has taken place every year on October 6 since 2010.

The national day aims to bring together carers from across the country, and those who work for the rights of carers. Healthcare professionals and professional at-home carers also use the opportunity to offer advice to non-professionals about their rights and the help available to them.

See more about the help available to carers and more government resources on the government website, service-public.fr, here (in French).

Read more: Explainer: What help is there for people who are carers in France?

October 8: End of European Sustainable Development Week

This year’s European Sustainable Development Week (which actually lasts more than two weeks) began on September 18 and is set to end on October 8. 

It is an event that takes place across 24 European countries and includes educational activities across government agencies, research centres, educational institutions, museums, galleries, associations, businesses, and NGOs. 

October 17 or 22: Taxe foncière deadline

Depending on the type of payment used, you have until October 17 or 22 to pay your taxe foncière.

Read more: Plan for cap on French taxe foncière increases to be abandoned

Read more: Some French towns raise taxe foncière by up to 19%, others stay level

The households that still have to pay taxe d’habitation will also receive their bill by then. Most households (65%) no longer have to pay this in 2022.

Read more: Who still has to pay the taxe d’habitation in France in 2022? 

October 18: Workplace seasonal flu campaign

The workplace seasonal flu vaccination campaign is set to start on October 18. Flu vaccines will also be given to at-risk people alongside their next Covid booster.

October 20: School fund deadline

Families have until October 20 to submit applications for collège and lycée financial support. Similarly, parent representative elections will also take place on October 7 and 8.

October 29: Clocks go back

The clocks will be turned back overnight from Saturday October 29 to Sunday October 30. At 03:00, the time will go back one hour to 02:00. This means that we will technically ‘gain’ an hour, but evenings will start to become darker ‘earlier’.

Most electronic devices, such as smartphones, make the change automatically, but analog clocks will need you to manually change their time.

Whole of October: Last month for higher fuel discount

The government’s 30-cent-per-litre discount on fuel at the petrol pumps is set to last throughout October, before changing in November. It is set to drop to 10 cents per litre from November 1. 

TotalEnergies is currently offering a 20-cent refund per litre on top of the government’s 30 cents in its service stations. 

Read more: French fuel discounts: long queues form at Total petrol stations

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