Covid-19: Vegetable plots away from home

In France many houses have separate gardens away from the main home where vegetables are grown but nowhere in the travel document does it allow me to go to my vegetable plot which is 800m away from the house. Could you find out for us as in these times every piece of food is vital to us?

[Updated on April 14, 13:00]

The government Covid-19 website has a useful question and answer section on what you can and cannot do during this period

It states that you can go to your garden if it is whether right next to your home or separated by public space. If it is 800metres away you can go with your travel form by ticking the box "déplacements pour effectuer des achats de première necessité" if you harvest fruit and vegetables or "déplacements brefs, dans la limite d'une heure quotidienne et dans un rayon maximal d'un kilomètre autour du domicile".

However, many community gardens and allotments have been closed.

The Association Jardins Familiaux et Collectifs, made up of associations running allotments all over France has previously told its members to stay at home and not to go to their plots.

Only the mairie can allow access to these gardens under certain conditions. See more here.

The situation is receiving mixed messages, though, even from the official Coronavirus free telephone enquiry line. When Connexion ran to double check the information, the first immediate answer was yes, you could go, as the garden is within one kilometre of the house, and belongs to the house owner and you can go without a form but if you want to go with one as a precaution you can tick going out for physical recreation less than one kilometre away.

A second call, five minutes later, with a different person answering said that this would not be permitted because the garden was not attached to the house. She said it would not enter into the reasons for leaving the house on the form as taking exercise for one hour, less than one kilometre from the house included exercise like walking and running but not gardening.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France