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France lockdown: Can a couple go shopping together?

Anyone going out must remember to fill out an attestation and carry with them a valid ID. We look at the rules for shopping trips

Reader question: I want to go shopping with my husband so that we can buy enough stock to last us a while. I don’t like using online delivery services so can we go shopping together or are we going to get fined?

The government advice is that you should only go out for essential reasons, one of which is doing necessary shopping.

There has however, been no formal clarification on rules on going out shopping with people in the same household.

An adviser on the official coronavirus information line said it is allowed, however based on what was said during the first confinement period, we understand that it would be generally advised for health reasons to avoid going out in groups and couples if possible.

In the spring, newspaper Libération reported that it would be up to the local police to decide if they should fine you for going shopping as a couple or a family. 

The paper contacted the Ministry of Interior at the time and was told: “Individual trips are to be preferred. In all cases, it will be up to the discernment of the police forces”.

Accompanying a vulnerable person or taking care of a minor would be among good reasons for going shopping with someone else.

Driving a partner to the shop

The ministry of interior has confirmed that driving a member of your household somewhere is possible for authorised outings. This includes taking them to work, to hospital or to do necessary shopping. 

There has been no statement about if it would be considered acceptable to drive your partner to the shop if you both having driving licenses and are able to drive. In this case, it is best to follow the above advice: Going to the shops as a couple is allowed, although not recommended. 

When driving people from other households for vital reasons, you should not have more than two people on the back seat, unless it is unavoidable. Also, you should all wear a mask and all carry attestations crossed individually with your reason for being out.

You should also carry with you valid ID.

Note that trips out of the home by disabled people and their carers is given as a specific reason for being out on the form, so if this applies you could also tick this box (it would apply where the person is recognised officially as disabled eg. they have the carte mobilté inclusion disabled person's card).

Clarifications on the current lockdown are still being issued by the government so be aware that details may change.

You can stay informed by regularly checking this website and signing up for our free newsletters (sent three times a week).

Read more:

Which shops can stay open during lockdown in France?

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