Coronavirus: what is the current situation in France?

PUBLISHED: 09:45 09 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:45 09 April 2020

The coronavirus outbreak may affect your French travel plans. Pic: GGuy44/iStock/Getty

The coronavirus outbreak may affect your French travel plans. Pic: GGuy44/iStock/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 on lockdown. Anyone travelling to France from abroad (for essential travel) will need a travel attestation. Keep track of daily developments in our timeline below.

9 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: TBC

Number of deaths: TBC

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

A Good Friday service from the Notre Dame in Paris is set to be televised tomorrow.

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

Eerily deserted streets in Montmartre under the lockdown. Pic: Jacus/GettyEerily deserted streets in Montmartre under the lockdown. Pic: Jacus/Getty

8 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 112,950

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: 109,069

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.

Essential shops are staying open but with rules such as one person at a time may enter. Pic: Catherine Leblanc/GettyEssential shops are staying open but with rules such as one person at a time may enter. Pic: Catherine Leblanc/Getty

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: 98.010

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.

A near-deserted Eiffel Tower under lockdown. Pic: jacus/GettyA near-deserted Eiffel Tower under lockdown. Pic: jacus/Getty

5 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 92,839

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: 89,953

Number of deaths: 7,560

3 April 2020

Total number of cases in France: 82,165

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.

25 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 25,233

Number of deaths: 1,331

The French scientific council, which advises President Macron, has said that the lockdown is likely to last six weeks from the date it was imposed, suggesting the current lockdown (now on day eight) will be extended. Macron also warns that upcoming religious celebrations for Easter, Passover and Ramandan should be cancelled.

24 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 22,304

Number of deaths: 1,100

New directives have been published regarding funerals in France. While religious sites have been allowed to stay open during the lockdown, no gatherings apart from funerals have been allowed. Now, the guidelins say that only close members should be allowed in cemeteries and crematoriums, with up to 20 people present.

23 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 19,856

Number of deaths: 860

The total number of deaths takes a sharp leap. The French government has set up a new site for those worried they might have contracted coronavirus, called MaladieCoronavirus.fr. Those worried they may have the virus are encouraged to take the online test.

22 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 16,018

Number of deaths: 674

A doctor from Compiegne, north of Paris, is the first French medical specialist to die from coronavirus.

21 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 14,459

Number of deaths: 562

20 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 12,612

Number of deaths: 450

19 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 10,995

Number of deaths: 372

As the number of cases passes 10,000, the French Senate has passed a state of health emergency bill which will give the government special powers to fight the outbreak. The bill, due to be examined by the National Assembly tomorrow, could limit freedom of movement for two months. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told radio station Europe 1 that the lockdown may be extended.

18 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 9,134

Number of deaths: 264

Day two of lockdown commences. President Macron announces €45 billion in business aid, fearing a recession. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner reports that there have been 70,000 conversations with French people explaining why they were in breach of the rules, and there have been over 4,000 fines given out. The fine for leaving the house without the correct attestation is tripled.

France’s healthy ministry suggests that ibruprofen and other anti-inflammatory painkillers may worsen the effects of the virus, however this was criticised by health experts.

17 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 7,730

Number of deaths: 175

France’s 12pm lockdown comes into force. Flights departing from French airports may be cancelled or rescheduled. Tens of thousands of police offers patrol streets. In an evening interview with France 2, Prime Minister Philippe says that fines may be increased to €135 from €35.

16 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 6,633

Number of deaths in France: 148

France imposes a strict lockdown as President Macron asks citizens to stay at home for at least 15 days starting from midday on Tuesday 17 March. “There can be no more outside meetings, no more seeing family or friends on the street or in the park,” he says. Anyone leaving the house must bring a form, or attestation, with them stating their reason for being outside, for example walking the dog, going to the pharmacy or checking up on a vulnerable family member. Anyone caught without a form will be at risk of a fine. Gas, electricity, water and rent bills will be suspended during the lockdown.

The move follows a call by President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to end all non-essential travel to Europe. The French president has also pledged a €300bn package to help the economy see through this tricky time.

15 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 5,423

Number of deaths in France: 127

All non-essential public places close, including cultural centres like museums, art galleries and theme parks. Ski resorts in the French mountains also close, leading to a huge repatriation effort involving 30,000 British tourists. The government announces that public transport will be reduced over the coming week.

14 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 4,499

Number of deaths in France: 91

All but two départements have reported cases of the virus. Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announces the closure of all non-essential public places from 15 March, excluding food shops, banks, pharmacies, newsagents, petrol stations and tobacconists. The ruling comes into place at midnight.

13 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 3,661

Number of deaths in France: 79

Prime Minister Édouard Philippe bans all public gatherings over 100 people, with public transport excepted.

12 March 2020

Total number of cases in France: 2,876

Number of deaths in France: 61

President Macron announces that all schools, universities and crèches will close on 16 March.

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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