Reader question: My friend was stopped this morning by the gendarmes to check her exemption form (attestation de déplacement), which she had downloaded in English from the French government site that Connexion shows.
The gendarme refused to accept it and took her name and address, turned her around and told her to go home and print one out in French. Was he right and, if so, can you warn people only the French form will do?
Short answer: No, the gendarme was wrong.
The Connexion contacted the Covid-19 helpline in France about this and were told the form in English is 100% acceptable and any such official document supplied by the government is valid.
The helpline spokeswoman suggested readers who are using the English-language form should keep the link of the government site at hand on their telephones, or take a screen grab of it from their computer and print out, so that they can present that to police should this situation arise again.
Alternatively, if they have mobile internet, they can search for www.interieur.gouv.fr and then click on the box “attestations de déplacement”, which is displayed at the top of the web page.
It sounds as if the gendarme in question was not familiar with the option, the helpline spokeswoman said, and was undoubtedly an isolated case.
The spokeswoman also said that if a penalty had been given for such a case, then the person could contest it (details of how to do this are on the penalty form).
You can also contest the fine online here.
You have 45 days from the time you receive the fine to contest it.