France second lockdown: What travel is allowed?

We explain the new travel restrictions set to apply across France, after 391km of traffic jams were recorded in Ile-de-France yesterday

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Before a second confinement was announced in France, heavy traffic was reported as Île-de-France residents sought to leave in anticipation of travel restrictions across the country. We explain the new rules.

President Emmanuel Macron confirmed that France will head into a second national lockdown from midnight tonight (Thursday October 29), in order to stop the spread of Covid-19.

In anticipation, more than 335 kilometres of traffic jams were reported before 17:00, double the normal level, according to the Agence France-Presse. This rose to 391 kilometres by 17:30.

What travel is allowed across France and Europe?

  • Regional: Not allowed. You must stay within your region of residence and cannot move from one region to another, except if necessary for work / other unavoidable exceptions.
  • Toussaint holidays: People who are already on holiday in other regions of France for Toussaint will be allowed to return home by the end of this weekend as an exception.
  • Travel across Europe: Allowed under some conditions. Borders remain open across Europe. External borders to the EU are closed. Depending on the different countries’ conditions, you should be able to travel back into France from elsewhere in Europe. This may be subject to a negative Covid test or other tests such as temperature checks.
  • Travel outside of Europe: Not allowed. External EU borders are closed and obligatory Covid tests are required for all arrivals. People with French residency or nationality are allowed to cross international borders in order to return home.

What local journeys are allowed?

  • To and from work: Allowed. You are allowed to travel to and from work if you are not able to work from home. But, you will need a waiver form (attestation) from your employer to do so.
  • To and from school/crèche/collège/lycées: Allowed. But you will need an attestation form to go to and from and also to pick up your children. Children aged six and over will need to wear masks.
  • To and from university: Not allowed. Universities will need to offer services online.
  • Visits to elderly care homes: Allowed. You will need a form, and to take all health precautions possible.
  • To and from bars/restaurants: Not allowed. These will close during confinement.
  • Doctor’s appointments: Allowed. You will need an attestation form to do this.
  • Cemeteries / burials / funerals: Allowed. These will remain open. You will need an attestation.
  • Parks / gardens / beaches: Unsure. This has not been specified yet.

What else will lockdown look like overall?

Some shops and essential services will remain open.

Read more: How will France’s new lockdown be different from spring?

Read more: France reconfinement: Your questions answered

Just as in the previous lockdown, there are restrictions on exercise - you must remain within one kilometre of your home - and you will need to fill in an attestation form whenever you leave your home, even to pick up children from school or to walk your dog.

These forms are not yet available but will be soon in hard copy, and digitally, as before.

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