Coronavirus: what is the current situation in France?

PUBLISHED: 17:38 29 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:38 29 May 2020

A deserted Paris during the confinement. Pic: Florent Oillic/Getty

A deserted Paris during the confinement. Pic: Florent Oillic/Getty

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Find out the latest travel advice surrounding the coronavirus and how it will affect your travel to France

The coronavirus situation in France is rapidly evolving. The British Foreign and Commonwealth office currently advises against all but essential international travel, while France itself is currently easing the lockdown. Anyone travelling to France from abroad (for essential travel) will need a travel attestation, but travel within France will no longer require an attestation from 2 June. Keep track of daily developments in our timeline below.

28 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: TBC

Number of deaths: TBC

28 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 186,238

Number of deaths: 28,662

People queuing outside a tabac during the lockdown. Pic: Razvan/GettyPeople queuing outside a tabac during the lockdown. Pic: Razvan/Getty

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announces that most of the measures implemented to help combat the coronavirus will be cautiously lifted in France. While strict hygiene and social distancing methods will remain in place, life will return to some level of normality. Most of France has now been designated as a green zone, although Paris and its surroundings are currently orange. Among the new opening are parks and gardens in Paris, plus elsewhere in France people will be able to return to restaurants, gyms and beaches come 2 June.

Brits are still strongly advised against all but essential travel to France by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

27 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 182,913

Number of deaths: 28,596

Tomorrow, the French prime minister will address the nation to outline the second phase of deconfinement, which will commence on 2 June. The map released before the first stage of deconfinement dividing the country into red and green zones is set to be updated according to the latest developments of the virus.

It is hoped that the prime minister will explain more about the possible reopening of hospitality establishments such as restaurants and bars. Beaches throughout the country are set to reopen, as are swimming pools and sports halls. More information to come tomorrow.

A deserted Eiffel Tower during the lockdown. Pic: Jacus/GettyA deserted Eiffel Tower during the lockdown. Pic: Jacus/Getty

26 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 182,722

Number of deaths: 530

Tennis fans may be pleased to hear that there is still hope for the 2020 French Open to take place this year. The event was set to take place this week but has been postponed to September. Director Guy Forget told the BBC that things were looking “positive”.

25 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 182,942

Number of deaths: 28,432

From today, the French government has implemented a voluntary 14-day quarantine for travellers arriving from outside the EU and certain other countries. However, the government has also stressed that even travellers from countries that belong to the EU may be asked to undergo the quarantine if they have introduced such measures in their own countries. For example, both Spain and the UK have said they will implement quarantines for new arrivals, so the French government has put in place the quarantine for arrivals from those countries as a reciprocal measure.

Exceptions to the 14-day quarantine for visitors include lorry drivers, train crew, diplomats and people with compelling family reasons such as the funeral of a close relative. An attestation is still needed for travel from abroad.

Find out more on the French government’s website.

24 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 182,582

Number of deaths: 28,367

Today marks the smallest daily increase of COVID-19 deaths and infections in France since the lockdown began.

23 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 182,469

Number of deaths: 28,332

22 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 182,219

Number of deaths: 28,289

France’s first beach to reopen for sunbathing (others are open for exercise) has been forced to implement a booking system. Visitors to La Grande-Motte must book three-hour slots two days in advance.

21 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 181,826

Number of deaths: 28,215

Easyjet are to resume some domestic flights, both in the UK and in France, from 15 June. The planes will undergo extra cleaning and disinfection routines, and no food will be provided to travellers on board. The fleet has been grounded since March and the firm’s CEO Johan Lundgren told the BBC these were “small and carefully planned steps”.

20 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 181,575

Number of deaths: 28,132

19 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 180,809

Number of deaths: 28,022

France has seen a small resurgence in coronavirus cases linked to the reopening of schools, with 70 cases linked to it.

The country has also been ordered to lift its blanket ban on worshipping in the next eight days.

18 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 179,927

Number of deaths: 28,239

It is yet to be confirmed which people travelling between the UK and France will have to self-isolate, with Sky reporting that lorry drivers may be the first to travel between the two countries without having to quarantine.

The reopening of schools has not triggered a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in France.

17 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 179,569

Number of deaths: 28,108

16 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 179,365

Number of deaths: 27,625

15 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: TBC

Number of deaths: 27,529

The coronavirus death toll is back on the up in France as the global death toll exceeds 300,000.

14 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 178,870

Number of deaths: 27,425

Cafes and restaurants in France’s ‘green zones’ should be able to reopen from 2 June, the French Prime Minister has announced. He has also said that French people will be able to go on holiday this summer - but only within France or its overseas regions.

The French government is to launch a historic support plan for those in the country’s tourism industry, one of the worst affected sectors during the pandemic. Just over a billion euros will go towards helping struggling hospitality businesses and tourist attractions.

The UK government has now announced that French visitors to the UK will be subject to the 14-day quarantine that it has proposed for airline passengers. Originally, they were to be exempt.

13 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 178,060

Number of deaths: 27,074

The number of French patients in hospital or intensive care with coronavirus continues to drop.

Coronavirus is threatening the existence of some French bookshops, hitting profit margins.

12 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 178,225

Number of deaths: 26,991

Thousands of businesses have begun to reopen as the lockdown in France is eased. However, as crowds have gathered to toast the end of some restrictions, a ban has been placed on drinking by the Seine and the Canal Saint-Martin.

11 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 177,423

Number of deaths: 26,643

Today begins the gradual process of France’s lockdown measures being eased. The measures include trips of up to 100km from home without any reason needing to be given; outdoor exercise being longer than one hour; and some beaches may even reopen. Find out more in our article.

In other news, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that French nationals will be exempt from plans for airline passengers arriving in the UK to be quarantined for 14 days.

10 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 176,970

Number of deaths: 26,380

Although improved cycling facilities were already a key part of Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo’s manifesto, there is now even more of a focus on getting things up and running in light of the current pandemic. The government is offering free bike repairs of up to €50 at registered mechanics, as well as more training for those who’ve spent time out of the saddle, in a bid to encourage more to adopt this eco-friendly mode of transport.

9 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 176,658

Number of deaths: 26,310

Video surveillance cameras will be used to monitor how well French citizens are responding to calls to wear masks and carry out social distancing.

8 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 176,079

Number of deaths: 26,230

7 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 174,791

Number of deaths: 25,987

Preparations for the effect of deconfinement on the Paris Metro have been put in place, with one million stickers placed around the network to remind commuters to keep their distance and wash their hands. Stickers have also been placed on seats on the trains themselves to remind travellers to leave space between them.

Later today, the final map dividing the departments into different zones depending on the severity of the outbreak will be released - see it here when it is published. The map will determine how the lockdown will be lifted in each of the departments, depending on which colour it is shaded.

6 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 174,191

Number of deaths: 25,809

The map dividing France into green and red zones, determining the serious of the outbreak and how the lockdown will be lifted, continues to be updated - see it here. A final map will be launched tomorrow, showing for certain how the lockdown measures will be lifted in each of the zones.

5 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 170,551

Number of deaths: 25,531

The BBC are reporting that France’s first case of coronavirus occurred in December in a man who had not visited China.

4 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 169,462

Number of deaths: 25,201

A proposed 14-day quarantine period for any new arrivals to France will not affect travellers from the EU and the UK, it has been announced. However, only essential travel is still being advised.

3 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 168,693

Number of deaths: 24,895

It is now obligatory for passengers on the Eurostar to wear protective face masks.

2 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 168,396

Number of deaths: 24,760

Ryanair has announced it will continue to run a skeleton service until July.

Meanwhile, a cat near Paris has become the first in France to have a confirmed case of COVID-19.

1 May 2020

Total number of cases in France: 167,346

Number of deaths: TBC

A map released by the French governments splits every department in the country into red, yellow and green, depending on the severity of the coronavirus outbreak. The colours determine how the lockdown will be lifted in each area. View the map here.

Anyone caught without a face mask on French public transport, including buses, planes and trains, after deconfinement may receive a fine of up to €135, junior transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari tells Le Parisien.

30 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 167,178

Number of deaths: 24,594

France has plunged into a recession as its GDP falls by a record 5.8 per cent in the first quarter.

29 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 166,420

Number of deaths: 24,087

The public will be able to buy face masks in supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as on a special online platform.

28 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 165,911

Number of deaths: 23,660

Most businesses, excluding those in the hospitality industry such as restaurants and hotels, will be allowed to reopen on 11 May. However, teleworking is still encouraged among office-based businesses to prevent further transfer of the disease.

Secondary schools will reopen in part on 18 May, but there will be smaller class sizes and staggered openings.

The attestation form will no longer be mandatory and car journeys of up to 100km will be allowed.

Public and private gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed, but gatherings of over 5,000 people will not be allowed again until September, putting events and festivals in the summer at risk.

27 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 165,842

Number of deaths: 23,293

26 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 162,100

Number of deaths: 22,856

France has had to limit the sales of nicotine patches after researchers suggested the product may help combat coronavirus.

25 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 161,488

Number of deaths: 22,614

A study by scientists at the ESEHP school of public health has suggested that 61,000 lives have been saved due to France’s lockdown measures. Without it, they said the French healthcare system would have been overwheled ‘in a matter of weeks’.

24 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 159,828

Number of deaths: 22,245

The lockdown exit will not be done on a region-by-region basis, but rather on a case-by-case basis, the French president has told mayors. He has also told them that face masks (non-professional) would be recommended but not compulsory.

23 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 158,183

Number of deaths: 21,856

The French health minister announces that exercise like walking, jogging and cycling will be able to take place ‘as normal’ after 11 May.

22 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 155, 904

Number of deaths: 21,340

Further violent incidents have been reported across France, in Paris, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Lyon, as tensions rise during the strict lockdown.

21 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 153,531

Number of deaths: 20,796

Almost all flights to France outside of the Schengen zone have been suspended.

Primary school-aged children will be able to return to school in smaller classes from 11 May, while secondary school pupils will be able to return the following week.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has warned French citizens against foreign travel in the short term, suggesting they take a staycation instead.

20 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 150,278

Number of deaths: 20,265

Riots have broken out overnight in the Parisian suburb of Villeneuve-la-Garenne over heavy-handed curfew tactics by French police.

While the number of deaths has passed the 20,000 mark, hospitalisations continue to fall.

19 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 147,844

Number of deaths: 19,718

France records its lowest daily death toll from the virus in three weeks. Its European neighbours including Germany start to ease restrictions.

Amazon is keeping its French warehouses closed until at least Wednesday 22nd April.

18 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 146,782

Number of deaths: 19,323

17 April 2020
Total number of cases in France: 143,116

Number of deaths: 18,681

There has been a large outbreak of coronavirus cases on a French aircraft carrier, currently docked at Toulon. Almost a third of sailors on the vessel - 668 out of 2,000 - are infected, with the total set to rise.

16 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 140,772

Number of deaths: 17,920

French hospital staff treating coronavirus patients are to get bonuses of up to €1,500.

New dates of 29 August-20 September have been announced for the 2020 Tour de France.

15 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 133,644

Number of deaths: 17,167

France is expected to boost its coronavirus economic rescue package to €110 billion, the finance minister Bruno le Maire announces.

14 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 130,253

Number of deaths: 15,729

Amazon are ordered to only deliver essential goods to France. From today, only food, medical and hygiene products will be allowed to be delivered by the company.

13 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 124,298

Number of deaths: 14,967

President Macron announces that the French lockdown will continue until 11 May. He says after this point, the lockdown could be slowly relaxed, including the opening of schools. However, he also says that there will be restrictions on public events until mid-July.

Summer events being cancelled include Avignon’s famous theatre festival. It is also expected that the Tour de France will be postponed.

12 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 120,633

Number of deaths: 14,393

11 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 118,178

Number of deaths: 13,832

A church in Paris is caught holding an Easter mass after locals heard music coming from it. When the police arrived, they found 40 people inside and fined the priest for not respecting lockdown rules.

10 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 113,927

Number of deaths: 13,197

A Good Friday service is streamed from the Notre Dame in Paris, a year after the devastating fire. Only a handful of people take part, all wearing hard hats.

9 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 107,696

Number of deaths: 12,210

The French lockdown is expected to be extended beyond 15 April. President Macron is set to address the nation at 8pm on Monday.

France is officially working on a ‘Stop Covid’ contact-tracing app.

8 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 103,061

Number of deaths: 10,869

Paris bans daytime outdoor exercise between the hours of 10am and 7pm.


7 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 99,180

Number of deaths: 10,328

The French government launches a travel attestation meaning that everyone travelling to France from overseas must fill one in and carry it with them. You can download the attestation in French and English here.

The death toll passes 10,000, a rise of 16 per cent.

Top French writers such as Leïla Slimani have faced backlash after escaping Paris for their second homes in the country.

6 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 90,452

Number of deaths: 8.911

France records its highest daily death toll of 833. Data released by the government showed that there had been 10 per cent increases on both the number of people dying in hospitals (605) and nursing homes (228). Health Minister Olivier Véran urges residents to continue assisting with the lockdown efforts.

It is also announced that a special hotline for domestic abuse victims has been set up, open from 9am to 7pm: those in need should ring (Fr) 8 019 019 11.

5 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 87,719

Number of deaths: 8,078

The lowest number of daily deaths (518) in five days is reported, suggesting that the three weeks of lockdown is starting to have an effect. It’s also the second decrease in the number of deaths in as many days.

4 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 83,019

Number of deaths: 7,560

3 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 76,460

Number of deaths: 6,507

The total number of cases shoots up due to the addition of the cumulative tally of nursing home deaths linked to COVID-19 that were previously unreported.

As Easter approaches, the government warns against people trying to go on holiday in what is normally known as the Grand Départ. Thousands of extra police and gendarmes will be deployed, with checkpoints on major road, to prevent any unnecessary travel.

2 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 59,105

Number of deaths: 5,387

France is pushing for an EU-wide coronavirus rescue fund to limit the economic impact of the virus.

1 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 56,989

Number of deaths: 4,032

France passes 4,000 deaths from coronavirus. More than 350,000 people have now been fined in the country for breaking lockdown rules.

Paris Orly airport closes for the first time in its 80-year history.

31 March 2020
Total number of cases in France: 52,128

Number of deaths: 3,523

Reports suggest that France is following Italy and Spain’s upwards pattern regarding the virus.

30 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 44,550

Number of deaths: 3,024

Critically ill patients are transported from the hard-hit East region across France on high-speed trains. The patients were transported to Bordeaux in Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

As figures revealed that the number of domestic violence cases has soared under the lockdown, Gender Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa announced that 20 drop-in centres would open across France to allow women to stop by when they’re out shopping.

29 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 40,174

Number of deaths: 2,606

28 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 37,575

Number of deaths: 2,314

£25m of fines have been handed out to French residents who have fallen foul of the new lockdown rules.

27 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 32,964

Number of deaths: 1,995

France has extended its lockdown by two weeks, until 15 April, the French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announces.

26 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 29,155

Number of deaths: 1,696
The possibility of holding this year’s Tour de France behind closed doors is announced.

Where can I find more information?

The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs has useful information about the virus for visitors to France in English. There is even more information on the French government’s website (in French).

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