Tuesday, April 20

Reader question: Can I travel to another part of France during the Easter weekend?

Question: We live in a rural area that is receiving lockdown measures on Saturday, but we hear that the government says that travel between regions will be allowed this weekend. Can we travel to visit friends at Easter as we plan?

Since Macron announced earlier this week that the partial lockdown will be extended to the entire country, there has been some confusion about what will be allowed this weekend when the new measures go into effect.

One of the rules of the new lockdown is that all travel between departments is prohibited.

So is that a no?

If the purpose of the trip is purely for leisure, then the government wants you to cancel. While the president said travel rules would be relaxed this Easter weekend, this was only for those who wanted to change their place of residence during the closing period.

“Either you leave for four weeks or you don’t go,” Tourism Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said Thursday, specifying the new rules on French television channel BFM.

Currently scheduled to last four weeks, the lockdown can be extended if the health situation requires it. The government wants to give people a window to change the area in which they spend the period of isolation. Therefore, the police will not fine anyone who goes to their second home or their family to spend the period of confinement there.

What about leaving children with grandparents?

On Friday, Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari suggested that there would be tolerance for those taking trips for childcare purposes during the next few weeks and not just during the Easter weekend.

Whether they are grandparents who travel to pick up children and then take them home or parents who leave children with their grandparents and then pick them up, these are “legitimate trips” according to Djebbari. Although he added that he would not encourage repeat travel of this nature during the limited lockdown period.

So can we say we’re leaving for full shutdown?

Obviously, it is difficult for the police to know who is taking a holiday weekend and who is leaving during the entire closing period. But the government has said it is counting on people to behave responsibly and has asked those with reserved vacations to cancel their plans.

“Companies have put in place cancellation policies,” Lemoyne said, “to prevent people from being penalized twice.”

READ ALSO: Easter Holidays in France: What are the rules and advice of the French government?

However, what is allowed is to move freely within 10 kilometers of the house. All longer trips require a certification permit.

Full details on the blocking rules and where you can find that form HERE.

Can we invite friends?

You are not supposed to do this, although it is not actually illegal. The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, has asked the people Avoid indoor gatherings or inviting the family over Easter, and the government has called for people to continue socializing outdoors.

READ ALSO: How to have a traditional French Easter according to health restrictions


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