End of lockdown: a second phase with less restrictions
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced during a press conference held on May 28th 2020, that despite the end of lockdown since the 11th of May 2020, the number of infected cases was still decreasing.
As a precaution, the coming out of lockdown in France had involved several restrictions including the impossibility to travel beyond a limit of 100 kilometers from home outside of one’s department of residence, unless it was justified by one of the accepted imperatives.
Based on the decision to move to a less restrictive second stage, a first decree providing for these restrictions, following the end of the lockdown, has been abrogated and replaced by a new one, published on May 31st 2020 and providing for new rules, notably regarding the freedom of travel and assembly.
Consequently, and since June 2, 2020, it is now possible to travel within France, including for business trips, without limitation. It being specified that a certificate or declaration from the employer or employee is no longer required to travel across the national territory.
Specific rules still applying to Paris region
It is to be noted that regarding the Region Île-de-France (Paris and suburbs) a certificate made by the employer is still necessary to allow an employee to use public transport during peak hours, i.e. between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., and between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to go to work. This certificate aims to justify that the employee’s travels cannot be postponed and are essential for his/her professional activity, which cannot be organized in the form of telework. In the absence of this certificate, the access to public transport is refused and the employees trying to use them without a certificate are also liable to the payment of a fine.
A certificate template (written in French) is available at the following internet address: https://www.prefectures-regions.gouv.fr/ile-de france/content/download/69435/451646/file/attestation%20professionnelle%20IDF_2020.05.12_PDF.pdf
The new decree also recalls that it is mandatory for anyone over 11 years old to wear a mask while using public transport in France. It being specified that additional rules may apply for the use of these transports, depending on the department.
Professional gatherings allowed in compliance with protectives measures
At last, the decree specifies that any meeting or activity taking place in the public area or in a place open to the public, involving the gathering of more than ten persons, is prohibited throughout the national territory.
However, this prohibition is not applicable to professional meetings which must nevertheless be organized in a strict respect of the usual protective measures:
– Frequent hand washing with soap and water (which must be provided with disposable towels) or by hydro-alcoholic friction;
– Covering the nose and mouth by coughing or sneezing into the elbow and of blowing one’s nose in a disposable handkerchief to be thrown immediately after use in a trash can;
– Avoiding any physical contact between people and avoiding touching the face, including mouth, eyes, and nose.
Masks must be worn systematically by everyone when maintaining a physical distance cannot be guaranteed.