Tourist News: May 11, 2020
Bonjour! I wanted to share a quick update on France as they begin to re-open slowly.
At the time of this writing, France has started to reopen for business but NOT for the international tourist.
The EU travel restrictions remain in place. Last week, they were extended through June 15. This means those of us with non-EU passports cannot travel into the EU, including France, unless we meet specific criteria. The Local has outlined these for us:
People who have their primary residence in France. This does NOT include second home owners. Third country nationals will need to present a visa or residency card while EU nationals (which for this purpose still includes British people) do not need any proof of residency status.
People who have their permanent residency in another European country and are travelling through France to get home
Healthcare workers engaged in coronavirus-related care
Commercial good carriers such as lorry [truck] drivers and flight or cargo crews
Cross-border workers. So for example if you live in France but work in Switzerland you can still travel back and forth.
Everyone who does enter France will need to have a completed attestation de déplacement international. Please see the French government’s “Advice for Foreigners” site for all the details, including the form. The big takeaway here is that if you absolutely don’t need to be there, you will not be allowed in. This sadly does not include a profound need for French wine, cheese, and pain au chocolat. We’ll need to remain strong!
Additionally, bars, restaurant/café dining rooms, and hotels remain closed. Interestingly, gîtes, B&B’s, and campsites outside of Paris are opening up.
France’s Health Ministry (Ministère des Solidarités et de la Santé) has designated two zones in the country: the red (rouge) zone which includes Paris and her suburbs and the green (vert) zone. Aptly, the red zone is the area experiencing the worst numbers. The zones will be used to guide the re-opening of France, with the red zone moving more slowly than the green.
Paris is the most complicated piece of the re-opening puzzle. The city’s website is a good place to keep up-to-date on Paris-specific info (in French, use your browser’s translate function, aka my best friend).
At this time, June 2nd will begin the next major phase of re-opening IF the original phase goes well. Paris is expected to stay “in the red”, so it will be moving more slowly and is also expected to have its own rules outside of the national guidelines.
For example, currently to ride the Métro during rush hour, you need a signed statement from your employer indicating your need to be travelling at that time. Here’s a look at the Metro today:
Beyond the current restrictions, as we look to the future, our safety is the number one priority. Please continue to watch reliable news outlets for information on the coronovirus (I have a list here), remain informed on the virus in your own area and where you want to travel, and most importantly consider your health and the health of others as we continue navigate this whole thing.
For a peek at what it was like today as Paris re-opened, The Local and France24 reported in.
For those looking for a wine and cheese virtual experience, Devour Tours is currently offering several online wine and cheese pairing classes from Paris (for 19€). Bon Appétit!
Merci and stay safe out there!
Palais Royale Arcade: Michelle Keel, author. October 2018
Déconfinement Map: Ministère des Solidarités et de la Santé
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