Countries in Europe continue to deal with escalating cases of the coronavirus. In an effort to keep it from spreading, some countries are taking big steps to control the movement of people. As of noon local time today (March 17), France is now locked down.
France Locked Down
As I wrote yesterday, Greece has shut many things down and has closed the beaches while instituting a 14 day quarantine for visitors. France, with many more cases of the coronavirus, is going beyond that. Like Spain and Italy, France has now entered a lock down situation for the country as well.
List of Approved Activities Outside
If you are a foreigner still in France, it is essential that you know what kind of movement is allowed outside. Here is a list from The Local:
- To work, if your work is essential and cannot be done from home
- To shop for essential items. Most shops in France are now closed but food shops, pharmacies and tabacs (tobacco shops) remain open
- For medical appointments or other health-related reasons
- For vital family reasons eg urgent care for children or the elderly. Simply visiting family is not a good enough reason to be out and the government has previously said that no-one should be visiting people aged over 70 or with serious health conditions except to provide vital assistance. Visiting is banned at all Ehpad retirement homes and care facilities
- Physical exercise. Unlike Spain, where this is banned, trips outside the home to take exercise are still allowed. However there are some conditions – you have to go on your own and cannot play group sports. So going for a run alone is OK, going to play street football is not. If you have a dog, you are also allowed to walk it.
If anyone does plan on going out, they must have this form filled out – can be found here. It is said that the fines will start at €38 but can go up to €135 if people keep going out. France has 100,000 police out to enforce this lockdown.
There is a grace period on the form. Even though the lockdown started today, people will not need the form until tomorrow (Wednesday).