There’s good news for US and Canadian travellers and property buyers this week, as well as for those of us who have been living under France’s national curfew. Here are the five French news stories you need to know about this week.
1. France’s Curfew Lifted
In a surprise announcement last Wednesday (June 16th), French Prime Minister Jean Castex declared that France’s national curfew would be lifted ten days before schedule. This bit of good news came off the back of reports that circulation of Covid-19 had dropped to its lowest levels since August 2020.
As of Sunday (June 20th), there is no longer a curfew in France, and there’s no need to fill out an attestation for leaving the house between 11 pm and 6 am. Also off the list of restrictions is the need to wear a mask outdoors. Wearing a mask outdoors is no longer compulsory, although it remains a requirement in all indoor public spaces. However, the PM advised that masks would remain the rule in crowded places such as “a queue, in a market or in the stands of a stadium”.
2. US and Canada Go Green
Another announcement this week was welcomed by US and Canadian travellers, with the US and Canada now being placed on France’s Green list for travel. This means that all travellers from the US and Canada, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, can now travel to France for any reason, including tourism, to visit a second home, or property visits.
Proof of vaccination and/or a negative Covid-19 test (for unvaccinated travellers) are required, but there is no quarantine period or need for an essential reason to travel. Read all the details of France’s traffic light system for travel.
3. Post-Brexit Deadline for Brits in France
The deadline for British expats resident in France before Brexit to apply for their residency card is fast approaching. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, British nationals living in France before December 31st, 2020, have the right to live, work, and stay in France permanently as long as they meet minimum requirements (for those resident in France for more than five years prior, there are no minimum requirements).
However, in order to do this, you must apply for a Titre de Séjour (Carte de Séjour) residency card, and the final deadline to apply is June 30th. This applies to all British expats, even those married or PACsed to a French partner and those who already hold a Carte de Séjour issued prior to January 1st 2021. The only Brits who don’t need to apply are those who already hold dual nationality in France or another EU country.
Still haven’t applied? Read our guide to Applying for a Titre de Séjour Under the Withdrawal (Brexit) Agreement.
4. Disappointing Election Day Turn-Outs
Last Sunday (June 20th) saw France head to the polls for the first round of France’s regional elections, and it was a disappointing start for President Emmanuel Macron’s 2022 presidential campaign.
Macron’s party, La République en Marche (LREM), had a poor performance overall, with many candidates not making it through to the second round. Contrary to predictions, Marine Le Pen’s far-right party, Rassemblement National (RN), didn’t fare much better, and the most notable takeaway from the day was the lack of voters.
The elections saw a 66.1% abstention rate — the highest recorded in recent history and exceeding the previous record of 59.4% recorded for the 2009 European elections. Hopefully, the second round of elections, which take place on Sunday, June 27th, will get more people to the polls.
See the full election results here.
5. Covid-19 Incident Rate Drops
The decision to lift the curfew and outdoor mask requirements comes off the back of some of France’s most promising Covid-19 statistics to date. As of yesterday, the weekly incident rate had fallen to just 25, with an R number of 0.64, meaning almost all of the country is now classed as ‘green’ (stable).
The latest Covid-19 statistics from Santé Publique and Covid Tracker as of June 20th, 2021, include:
- a total of 1,815 recorded new cases in France in the last 24 hours
- a rate of positive tests of 1%, and 14 new deaths recorded
- 31,757,287 people have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, and 17,888,551 have been fully vaccinated.
Vaccines in France are now available for everyone over the age of 12. Book your appointment online at Doctolib and Maiia, via the government’s website Sante.fr, by calling the vaccine centres directly, or through your médecin traitant (GP). Children under 18 will need an attestation signed by their parents, which you can download from your healthcare account at Ameli.fr.
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