France Comes Out of Lockdown

Today Paris, and all of France, comes out of lockdown. The government has relaxed restrictions and you’ll no longer need an attestation (self-written consent form) to leave your home or apartment. The country has been divided into two zones, red and green, determining where the virus is spreading most rapidly. You can view the map here. (Paris is départment 75.) Restrictions vary by zone, but here are some general guidelines, which are subject to change:

-Gatherings of up to 10 people will now be allowed.

-Schools are reopening, starting with elementary schools with reduced amounts of students (15) in each class, with a promise that classrooms will be regularly disinfected. A gradual increase in proposed to open junior and senior high schools, as the month progresses.

-Trains and public transit will gradually increase in service. Some métro stations will remain closed, however, and the RATP will operate at 75% of capacity. They are relying on a “civic duty and responsibility pact” with passengers to adhere to the rules. Seats will be blocked off in an effort to keep riders at a distance from each other. (Update: The métro in Paris this morning was standing-room-only.) Workers in Paris will need to supply documentation from their employers in order to use public transportation to get to and from work.

[Note: Social distancing guidelines in France are to keep 1 meter (3 feet) apart from others. In the U.S., those guidelines are 2 meters (6 feet.)]

-Masks will be distributed to Navigo (transit pass) subscribers at certain métro stations. They will be required on public transit as well as in ride-shares like Uber and Kaptain. Pharmacies will receive a certain amount of reusable masks that can be handed out for free from May 11 to June 8 if you sign up at the Paris.fr website. Hand sanitizer will also be provided at public transit stations. The price of hand gel is regulated in France, but because masks vary by quality, design, and materials, there is no fixed price on them yet. French President Emmanuel Macron has been wearing a mask in public to encourage people to wear them as an act of civic duty and patriotic pride.

-Small museums will be allowed to open but larger museums, like the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, will remain closed.

-Restaurants, cafés, and hotels will remain closed until at least June 2nd, when measures will be reviewed. However many restaurants and food-related businesses have started offering meals to-go. Most are putting that information on either their websites, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. A website was established for people to support their local restaurants and cafés. (h/t Secrets of Paris.)

-Some shops will start opening today, at the owner’s discretion. Owners may limit the number of people in their shops at the same time and require purchases to be made by credit card. Food stores, supermarkets, and bakeries remain open. Outdoor markets are scheduled to reopen providing they take precautions regarding following proper hygiene procedures and social distancing recommendations. The city of Paris has launched a website where you can get items delivered to your home from some of the outdoor market vendors. The website is here.

-Depending on the region, and whether you are zone red or green, some parks (and perhaps beaches) may be open.

-The Health Minister announced that France now has the ability to test 700,000 people per week and said they will begin doing so. Testing will be overseen by the public health department.

-The borders of Europe still are closed to international travel and France is under a state of “Health Emergency” until July 24th. There’s been no indication or notice given when that will be lifted but the government is planning to release a reopening of tourism plan by the end of May. For updated information about tourism, I advise you to check with the embassy of your country for guidance if you have current or future travel plans.

Visit the official French government website with information on the coronavirus here.

France24 also has French news in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic. RFI is another multilingual news source in France.

France Comes Out of Lockdown

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15 comments

  • May 11, 2020 1:08pm

    We received washable cotton masks through the letter box, courtesy of the mayor. Reply

  • Debra
    May 11, 2020 1:43pm

    Many thanks for the update, very helpful! Reply

  • TxLaurieLou
    May 11, 2020 6:59pm

    Be extra careful out there, virus can actually travel 6 to 7 feet when coughing with uncovered face. If you can blow out a candle thru your mask it needs another tight woven layer. I wear (lovely, not really) eye protection too. And is there really a Rue Du Croissant? :) love you and Romain, y’all are muy bueno! Reply

  • Kim B
    May 11, 2020 7:15pm

    Please note that if you are taking public transport in the Ile de France (Paris metropolitan region) between the hours of 6:30 am and 9:30 am and again between 4 pm and 7 pm, you must have an attestation from your employer stating that you have to be on the metro (or bus or whatever) at that time.

    A similar “self-attestation exists if you have a medical appointment or a judicial convocation.”

    I will post a link in reply to my comment where you can pick up the attestation forms (in French). Reply

  • Pam
    May 11, 2020 8:02pm

    Thank you! Very helpful. How about the flea markets? Are they open? Reply

  • Gail
    May 11, 2020 8:41pm

    Had to look up Rue du Croissant! Very interesting as it has nothing to do with the pastry.
    https://www.francetoday.com/travel/paris/read-the-signs-rue-du-croissant-in-paris/ Reply

  • Jane T
    May 12, 2020 4:25am

    This week we’ve been celebrating the one-year anniversary of our first trip to France; it was truly a dream come true. How devastated we’d be if our trip had been canceled due to the pandemic! We’ve been reliving our experiences through our photos, favorite movies, wine and food. Today a friend shared with me your recipe for French Grated Carrots, and now I’m hooked on your recipes and blog! Thank you for sharing this update on the country we have grown to love! Wishing safety and good health to all. Reply

  • May 12, 2020 9:29am

    Our market has been open for a few weeks (Carcassonne is in the green zone; only 3 cases left at the hospital). The stands are roped off; you stand in line (tape on the marble paving shows the distance to keep) and the vendors serve you. Not great as I ended up with flaccid asparagus and two rotten peppers.
    I feel for the folks who have to take the Métro. I bet most are seriously worried. Reply

  • Sharon Bacon
    May 13, 2020 8:54pm

    Is the ratio for Guepe Verte really 1 1/2c of Tequila to 1TBS of lime juice correct? Seems way to strong. I am holding off making it until I pick up a chile in the market. My fresh Bearss limes are falling off my trees. Yum. Can’t wait to have a taste. Would a bit of Cointreau help to make a divine drink? Reply

    • May 13, 2020 9:29pm
      David Lebovitz

      That amount of tequila (1 1/2 cups) is to make the infusion, which you make 8hrs or so in advance. In the third step, to make the cocktail, you use 1 1/2 ounces (50ml) of the chile-infused tequila. Reply

  • Janet
    May 15, 2020 2:30am

    Oh David, please stay well.
    Janet in Sunnyvale Reply

  • Lamensch Marie
    May 15, 2020 5:02pm

    So I live in Canada, but my parents in France. My father is in Lyon so a Green Zone and my mother in Lille, so a Red Zone. It’s very confusing and they almost live in different worlds. My father is 74 years old and does not go outside much. He is craving strawberries but says fruit prices have gone WAYYY up. How is the supply chain in France these days? Reply

    • May 16, 2020 9:13am
      David Lebovitz

      It’s hard to say if fruit prices went up because we are just starting to get spring/summer fruit. Strawberries are higher in price, but I’m trying to only get organic ones, not supermarket strawberries, and those are naturally more expensive. I’ve paid around €5-6 for a small basket (250g) and €10 for a larger one (about 500g). Reply

  • juliet
    May 20, 2020 4:50am

    hi from australia!we have friends infrance and europe and the u.k.discovered your fab site and books and salade de carrottes today and am super excited.you are giving practical and informative information in this otherworldly frightening time and spreading joy through food.salut!un grand merci david. Reply

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