France lockdown: What are the rules and where is it in place?

19 March 2021, 15:15 | Updated: 19 March 2021, 15:19

Paris is among 16 regions of France being put into a third lockdown over rising Covid-19 cases
Paris is among 16 regions of France being put into a third lockdown over rising Covid-19 cases. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Paris is among 16 regions of France being put into a third lockdown over rising Covid-19 cases.

The measures come into place from Saturday and will remain in place for at least four weeks and include around 20 million people.

On Thursday Prime Minister Jean Castex said: “The pandemic is accelerating.

“The situation is worsening and it is our responsibility to act so it does not get out of hand.”

It comes after Italy also plunged into a third lockdown as a third wave of the pandemic grips the continent.

Read more: France declares only those aged 55 and over should have AstraZeneca jab

What are the affected regions in France?

  • Nord
  • Aisne
  • Oise
  • Pas-de-Calais
  • Somme 
  • Paris
  • Seine-et-Marne
  • Yvelines
  • Essonne
  • Hauts-de-Seine
  • Seine-Saint-Denis
  • Val-de-Marne
  • Val-d’Oise 
  • Alpes-Maritimes
  • Eure 
  • Seine-Maritime 

What are the rules of the lockdown in France?

Similar to lockdown in the UK, there are a limited set of reasons which people are permitted to leave the house for.

Anyone making a trip outside the home must carrying a permission form.

Reasons people can leave home;

  • Work, education or training
  • Medical appointments
  • Taking care of a vulnerable person or child
  • Vital trips out for disabled people their carers
  • To attend court
  • Walking the dog
  • Shopping for essential items, collecting or delivering ordered items
  • Exercise is permitted on your own - must be done with 10km of your address
  • Authorised gatherings for religious serviceds

In comparison, Britiain is looking at relaxing measures put in place to keep the pandemic at manageable levels as the UK vaccination effort steams ahead.

Around half of all UK adults have now received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, and yesterday the Prime Minister sought to ease fears the roadmap out of lockdown may be affected by fluctuation vaccine supplies.

A spokesman for Boris Johnson said the UK had "strong measures" at the border when asked whether the Government was concerned about rising Covid rates in France and other European countries.

Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, who spurred the UK's decision to go into lockdown last March, warned that a "significant fraction" of European cases were likely to be of the South African variant, which it is feared the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine could be less effective against.

Asked about Prof Ferguson's remarks, a spokesman for the Prime Minister said: "What I would say in relation to those specific comments, we already have strong measures in place at the border as you will be aware.

"It is currently illegal to go on holiday and anyone arriving in England has to self-isolate, take two mandatory PCR tests on day two and day eight of their 10-day isolation period, and have a negative test before travel as well.

"Modelling is showing that a combination of specific policy options such as pre-departure testing and isolation are effective measures for mitigating the public health risk."

Pressed on whether some EU countries could be placed on the "red list", meaning a stint quarantining in a hotel upon arrival in England, the No 10 spokesman replied: "I would point you back to the wide variety of strong measures that we have in place at the border.

"We have them in place and believe them to be strong and robust measures."