Covid 4th wave France: Check mask-wearing and other rules in your area

As cases continue to spread, more areas have introduced restrictions, as banning drinking alcohol in public

Medical protection mask outside. Covid 4th wave France: Check mask-wearing and other rules in your area
Published Last updated

France is deep into a fourth wave of the Covid-19 epidemic, with figures showing that cases are under the alert threshold in only eight departments, and more areas reimposing restrictions.

France is deep into a fourth wave of the Covid-19 epidemic, with case numbers over the alert level in all departments but eight. Many areas are re-imposing restrictions.

The minimum alert threshold is 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past seven days; the maximum is 250.

And while Prime Minister Jean Castex has ruled out the imposition of any new national rules before the new health pass rules come into force, more departments are starting to reimpose their own restrictions.

At the time of writing (July 27), the rules in the most affected departments are as follows:


  • The most affected “mainland” department in France (outside of the DOM-TOM).
  • Incidence rate (cases per 100,000) 699
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 10 people on beaches and green areas after 21:00
  • From August 1, events, such as birthdays and weddings with more than 50 guests, must be declared to the prefecture
  • From August 1, bars and restaurants closed from midnight
  • From August 3, masks required in crowded areas in Bastia, Corte, Calvi, Ile Rousse, Calenzana, and St Florent.


  • Incidence rate 694.
  • Mask wearing mandatory outdoors except on beaches and in natural spaces
  • Bars and restaurants closed from 23:00.


  • Incidence rate 523.1.
  • Masks now required in many public spaces but not beaches and natural areas
  • Ban on drinking alcohol in public
  • Ban on amplified music in public, including restaurant and bar terraces
  • Music ban does not apply to publicly organised events, nor to bars and restaurant terraces that have “health protocols” in place
  • Rules to remain in place until at least August 16.


  • Incidence rate 470.8.
  • Mask mandatory in all communes except six less-populated towns.
  • Masks not needed on beaches.


  • Incidence rate 406.1
  • Masks mandatory outside in most areas in the city, plus Montauban, Moissac and Castelsarrasin.


  • Incidence rate 374.6
  • Masks mandatory in 45 communes, including Ile de Ré and La Rochelle, including where physical distancing cannot be enforced; except on beaches
  • Ban on drinking alcohol in public
  • Ban on the sale and consumption of “laughing gas” capsules in public
  • Ban on amplified music on beaches in Vendée
  • Restrictions set to apply until at least August 4.


  • Incidence rate 314
  • Ban on drinking alcohol in public spaces, except on authorised terraces
  • Ban on sale of alcohol to take away in Bordeaux, Arcachon, Lège-Cap-Ferret, Soulac-sur-Mer, Lacanau, Hourtin, Carcans, Le Porge, La Teste-de-Buch, Andernos-les-Bains, Vendays-Montalivet, Libourne, and Saint-Emilion
  • Masks mandatory outside in certain “areas with a high population”, including the town centre of Bordeaux, Libourne, Saint-Emilion, and some beach areas of Soulac-sur-Mer and La Teste-de-Buch
  • Masks are mandatory in situations such as at “markets, car boot sales, queues, and anywhere people are collecting minors”.
  • Masks not needed in parks, gardens, beaches or natural spaces.


  • Incidence rate 308.
  • Mask wearing mandatory in 58 out of 153 communes, including on seaside promenades, but not on beaches, or forest areas
  • People doing individual sports outside such as running do not need to wear masks
  • Ban on the sale of alcohol in the evening
  • Ban on drinking alcohol in public in 16 communes.


  • Incidence rate 265.5.
  • Mask wearing mandatory in public in Anglet, Bayonne, Biarritz, Guéthary, Hendaye and Saint-Jean-de-Luz
  • Ban on drinking alcohol in public in the same six communes until August 31
  • Mask wearing mandatory in certain situations, such as at markets or during public protests.


  • Incidence rate 274.
  • Ban on gatherings such as “groups, meetings or public activities, or in spaces open to the public” with more than 20 people, including “open-air festivals, performances and concerts with standing people”, and “places open to the public”
  • Indoor capacity set at 5,000 seats for public spaces such as concert halls
  • Ban on drinking alcohol in public and outdoor spaces
  • Ban on amplified music in the same spaces
  • Mask mandatory outside in more crowded public areas, including tourist hotspots.


  • Incidence rate 193.1
  • Masks mandatory in busy streets in Deauville, Trouville, Honfleur, Villers-sur-Mer, Blonville-sur-Mer and Cabourg


  • Incidence rate 148. Bas-Rhin has the highest incident rate in the Grand Est region.
  • Masks required for all pedestrians aged 11 and over outdoors in communes with more than 5,000 inhabitants, and in outdoor markets, protests, or any other form of public gathering
  • Ban on sale and drinking of alcohol in public
  • Authorities considering whether to close bars and restaurants at a set time.


  • Incidence rate 143.2.
  • Masks mandatory for all gatherings of more than 10 people outdoors, including in certain situations, such as markets, waiting queues, and close to busy areas.


  • Incidence rate 143.2
  • Masks mandatory in the busiest communes, including Boulogne-sur-Mer, Berck-sur-Mer, Calais and Le Touquet.


  • Incidence rate 102.9
  • Mask mandatory in public spaces including the coastal towns of Sables d’Olonne, L’Île-d’Yeu and Noirmoutier.
  • Masks required in other communes where physical distancing is not possible

This list is not exhaustive; some communes and local prefectures have imposed their own rules on a more local scale.

It remains to be seen whether the extension of the health pass (date to be set on August 5 for this) will control the epidemic as intended, or whether the government may consider reimposing certain restrictions on a national level.

Related stories

7,000 people in France now in hospital with Covid-19, 1,000 in ICU
Coronavirus: Daily updates on the situation in France
Covid France: Five million vulnerable people still not vaccinated