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Restez chez vous in lockdown France, or risk €135 fine

Penalty for not carrying simple document increases to €375 if not paid within 45 days

The lockdown imposed across France for two weeks until March 31 – which is likely to be extended – means everyone must stay at home to limit the spread of Covid-19 or risk a fine.

There are exceptions, but people can go out only for the following reasons:

Those who must work and who cannot do télétravail remote working are allowed to travel directly to their “place of professional activity” or to any professional trips that cannot be postponed.

They must carry with them at all times a document signed by their employer, the Justificatif de Déplacement Professionnel Covid-19.

A handwritten version can be used, but must have the same French text as the main form, with a declaration that your trip cannot be deferred as it is vital for your work, plus personal details.

Anyone else, who would normally be confined to home, has limited options for leaving the house.

You must also carry a form, called the Attestation de déplacement dérogatoire.

  • You may leave the house for a short time and only in your local area to make purchases in authorised establishments such as food shops, petrol stations, tabacs, banks and newsagents, plus some public offices
  • You can also leave home for a pre-booked medical appointment but check that the surgery or clinic is open
  • You can leave home for imperative family reasons, such as to help a vulnerable person or to help with childcare
  • Finally, you can go out for short trips close to home to get air or to walk the dog – but you must do this alone, not in a group, and not to meet others. Doctors criticised this exception as liable to abuse and weakening the lockdown by giving exposure to more people

The attestation must be completed and signed before going out. Fill in your personal details, tick one box for your reason for being out, and sign and date.

The form can be handwritten with the same information in French, but you cannot download it on to a smartphone. The government said “only official forms and versions written on plain paper are valid”. This is being reviewed.

A new form is needed for each trip out, and two reasons need two forms.

Police and gendarmes can stop and check anyone on the street.

Anyone ignoring the restrictions or without a form faces a €135 fine.

The fine was initially set at €38 but on the first day more than 500 people were fined in Paris and the €135 rate brought in – and 4,095 were fined. This goes up to €375 if not paid in 45 days.

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