FRANCE. Government declares public health state of emergency

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

The French government on Wednesday declared a public health state of emergency, and it will be placed under a nightly 21:00 to 06:00 (local time) curfew from Saturday, October 17th.

The additional measures will be in effect for at least four weeks. They will include the greater Paris region, Marseille, Toulouse, Montpellier, Rouen, as well as four other cities where restrictions have recently been tightened.


The French government imposed tighter restrictions in Lyon (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region), Lille (Hauts-de-France region), Grenoble (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region), and Saint-Étienne (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region) on October 10 due to rising COVID-19 cases. The four cities are in zones of maximum alert with restaurants and bars closed for at least two weeks. Gyms and swimming pools are also likely closed, and other public venues are required to operate under strict hygiene protocols. A ban on gatherings of more than ten people and a limit of 1000 attendees at organized events will remain in place in these areas. Gatherings are also restricted in cities in enhanced alert zones (one level below maximum alert), including Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nice, Rennes, Rouen, and Toulouse.


Face masks are mandatory nationwide in enclosed public spaces, including workplaces. Several local jurisdictions, including Paris, have also mandated the wearing of face masks in outdoor public spaces. Most businesses and services outside the maximum alert zones are permitted to operate, provided they comply with hygiene and social distancing requirements.

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