Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Paris and France in lockdown

The outbreak of Coronavirus - Covid-19 - classed as a pandemic on the 11th of March, has made its way across all the world and affected many countries and lives.

This is an unprecedented situation where precautions have been put in place to help slow the spread of the virus. Below we have been covering the main headlines for those interested in how France and Paris are acting. Our thoughts are with those who have lost family or friends and those who are affected.

16th October 2020

From Saturday, 17th October 2020, Paris is among 9 cities in France that will be enforcing night-time curfews to stop the spread of the virus.

Paris and its suburbs, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Rouen, Grenoble, Toulouse and Montpellier, will all be enforcing a curfew from 9pm to 6am the next day. All businesses, public services and locations are expected to be closed by this time and people should be in their homes. This is expected to last at least four weeks.

Those who must still travel for trips to the hospital or pharmacy are still permitted, and one must have a special certificate to show for proof. Pre-booked trains and planes which arrive after curfew are also allowed in this situation.

Outside of these locations public gatherings have also been restricted, with parties, weddings and more banned in public spaces.

We would like to continue to wish everyone the best of health during these difficult times.

5th October 2020

Unfortunately, due to the rise in cases throughout France there are many areas classed as within an Alert Zone, with places such as Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse, Rouen, Nice and Montpellier being under High Alert. In these places gyms have closed, public gatherings are limited to 10 people, with local fetes and student parties being prohibited.

However, Marseille and Paris along with the departments on the outskirts of the city including the departments of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint Denis and Val-de-Marne are now classed as Critical Alert Zones and the above restrictions are in place along with others.

From Tuesday, 6th October 2020, the alert level in Paris is being raised to its maximum level after cases have risen over recent weeks and the following regulations have been put into place for at least two weeks in addition to those above:

All bars will shut from Tuesday.
While restaurants and bistros can remain open, they must adhere to new sanitary arrangements and must close before 10pm.
It is strongly advised for those who can, to work from home.
University lecture halls must be under half full.
Wearing a mask is mandatory in enclosed public spaces and outside in some areas and towns including Paris, Marseille and Lyon.

The French Government has more information on which exact departments are under alert zones and their levels, we suggest that anyone living or travelling within France to check the Government website for the latest news and status below.

We wish everyone well and to stay safe under these new guidelines.

16th September 2020

In France, recent weeks have brought more cases of Covid-19 - also known as Coronavirus - where there is a rise in cases being reported in comparison to prior months. Restrictions are still in place as previously mentioned, with a vast number of departments being placed on "red alert" where restrictions are tighter to help stop the spread of the virus.

We strongly suggest those who are currently there or are required to travel to check local and governmental advice from the official French Government at the link below.

For those who may wish to travel for leisure, we would strongly recommend trying to travel at a safer time, for both you and your family's health and for everyone's sake. Do not forget to please carefully check for the regulations that are specific to your country, such as any quarantine procedures, travel requirements, etc.

12th August 2020

Fears of a second wave are approaching in France, where new rules have been put in place. Namely masks are required in enclosed public spaces and must be worn outside while in busy areas of Paris by anyone aged 11 and up.

The bans on mass gatherings of more than 5,000 people has been extended.

We recommend everyone to take precautions and to be safe if and when they travel, to help prevent the rise of infections.

23rd July 2020

More locations listed below have their doors open to visitors once more. Each location will have its own rules and regulations, varying from face coverings, amount of people within a building through to only accepting card payments or bookings in advance - with this in mind we still strongly recommend looking ahead of time before visiting.

La Cinematheque
Musee Rodin
Musee Picasso
Musee Eugene Delacroix
Musee Grevin
Musee de la Poste
Musee du Quai Branly
Grand Rex

13th July 2020

While the virus is more under control it is still vital to remember to maintain social distancing, wash your hands regularly, and wear face coverings when possible, as the French health minister reminds everyone to not let down their guard.

For updated news in Paris the following locations and services have now since re-opened:

Musee des Arts Decoratifs
Musee Nissim de Camondo
Grande Arche
Palais Garnier
Petit Palais
Grand Palais
Bateau Mouches
Les Invalides

6th July 2020

In France from the 22nd June, all schools - excluding high schools - reopened. Schools named "Lycees" for 15 to 18-year-olds have also started to reopen but students are not required to attend. Cinemas were also another venue that has seen its doors open once more, with beaches also being open under tight restrictions.

Since our last update multiple notable locations have also started to open their doors once more. Including that of:

Tour Montparnasse
Saint-Denis Basilica
Musee d'Orsay
The Eiffel Tower
Cite des Sciences
Pompidou Centre
Musee du Louvre

Care must be taken when visiting places and we highly recommend you contact locations first as each venue may have its own regulations in place for bookings and visitors.

19th June 2020

With the easing of restrictions taking place all over France, many locations have started to re-open. Although some of the below places are now open, we still highly recommend checking in advance.
Many places only allow prior reservations, a certain amount of people at once, and social distancing is still being enforced.

These locations are now open once more:

Arc de Triomphe
Les Catacombes de Paris
Musee Jacquemart-Andre
Musee des Arts Decoratifs - gradual re-opening
Musee Nissim de Camondo
Palais de Tokyo
Palais de la Porte Doree
Chateau de Fontainebleau - Gardens only
Chateau de Versailles

We will continue to provide updates as Paris and the country slowly returns to the "new normal" and allow visitors once more.

16th June 2020

From the 15th restrictions in France have been eased up further. Mainland France is now within a "green zone" virus alert level, while overseas territories stay at "orange".

Cafes and restaurants can now re-open, including indoor seating in Paris if social distancing is still followed.

Family can visit loved ones in retirement homes once more, which will be a welcome change for many.

For those travelling, the borders are now open, but those travelling from the UK or Spain are being asked to go into a two-week voluntary quarantine upon arrival. For the UK mandatory quarantine is still required when returning.

From 22nd June schools would be allowed to reopen, except for high schools.

2nd June 2020

As of today, France has entered its Phase Two of easing restrictions. A large majority of France is now within a Green zone, Paris is now within an Orange zone.

Under Phase two you will find that bars and restaurants can re-open within green zones, but within the orange zones it is outside dining only. This has been a popular change for many who are now taking their chance to enjoy the nice weather and be outside once more.

Additionally, parks and gardens in Paris are once more open, allowing for more space to exercise or for gatherings fewer than 10 people at a time.

26th May 2020

France continues to be split into the previously mentioned green and red zones. Paris at this time is still within a red zone, meaning parks gardens and schools for 11-18-year olds are closed.

Residents no longer must provide travel certificates of their journeys or where they intend to go for trips up to 100km (62 miles). Longer journeys meanwhile still require a certificate.

Shops have been allowed to reopen (except for Paris shopping centres), as can leisure centres and cemeteries.

Restaurants and bars remain closed at this time.

As always it is recommended to check in advance with local and governmental information as this situation develops.

12th May 2020

France has started to slowly ease its lockdown and will continue to do so over the next few weeks. This is mainly split into two regions, classed as green and red zones, dependant on how many covid-19 cases are within a region.

Currently, Paris and its suburbs, are within a red zone. For now, this means public gardens and parks will remain closed.

For areas that are within green zones, it means primary and nurseries opened on 11th May, schools for 11 to 15-year-olds from 18th May, and 15 to 18-year-olds not opening before June.
Meanwhile in Paris, schools reopening are prioritised to socially disadvantaged children and the children of key workers.

In green zones, cafes and restaurants may be allowed to open "as early as June".

Face masks are being enforced on public transport.

9th April 2020

Unfortunately, as of 9th April the number of COVID-19 cases in France has risen to over 73,000 cases, with over 20,000 of these being in Ile de France and the French President has announced a complete lockdown in Paris with outdoor exercise also banned to try and control the spread of Coronavirus.

And sadly, as of writing this update, within the country, there has been over 8,500 deaths. Our thoughts are with the many friends and families of those affected.

18th March 2020

As of 18th March, France itself has seen over 7,730 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 2,100 being in the Ile-de-France region. Due to this the French Government has now banned people from leaving home without a specific reason, such as for specific work situations, and all non-essential establishments are now closed.

However, the lockdown is continuing and even more stringent rules are in place with fines applicable for those that do not comply, as unfortunately the number of cases of Covid-19 has risen in France to over 25,000 as of 25th March 2020, with over 6,500 in Ile de France region and a terrible 1,000 plus deaths within the country.

The measures the French Government have taken, is to restrict movement to stop the spread of the virus. This means that without due certificates or reasoning for leaving your place of home/residence, you can be fined €135. The French Government has the information to print out, along with more information, valid reasons and an FAQ at the above website.

16th March 2020

As of 16th March, the French President has now announced that ALL non-essential places are to close on a temporary basis due to the Coronavirus, which has been classed as an epidemic in France, and this means places such as libraries, gyms, leisure centres, sports venues, shopping malls, clubs, bars, cafes, restaurants, etc, even though some establishments can do home deliveries but are unable to accept guests.

In addition, we have had reports that all schools, colleges and child care centres are also being closed from Monday 16th March 2020 for a minimum of two weeks.

When it comes to hotels in Paris, buffet breakfasts have been banned and current recommendations are for in room food services only, with any hotel bars and restaurants only open to guests staying at the establishment and meals provided filmed individually, although this could change with even more stringent measures put in place.

We will continue to update this information, but for more details of Paris events or locations that may be affected please see the official Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau website with their news and updates.

Another point is that although Paris public transport is still running, there are fewer trains and the Metro also has a reduced service, plus as you have probably already heard, many flights have been cancelled.

So as you can no doubt appreciate, please plan any travel and events responsibly and safely, and check in advance with the hotel or venue itself if anything is closed or if you wish to ask for refunds.

8th March 2020

As of writing this, France itself has seen 2,500 cases of Covid-19, with 500 being in the Ile-de-France region. Due to this the French Government has banned public gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

Therefore as we stated earlier, all non-essential places are closed and hence multiple Paris venues, events, shows, museums, tourist attractions, etc have either cancelled or postponed many events or temporarily closed due to the pandemic and some of these include...

- Eiffel Tower - Closed
- Disneyland Paris - Closed
- Louvre Museum - Closed
- Musee d'Orsay - Closed
- Musee de l'Orangerie - Closed
- Chateau de Versailles - Closed
- St Patricks Day Parade - Cancelled
- France-Ireland VI Nations - Postponed until October
- Moulin Rouge - Closed
- Chateau de Fontainebleau - Closed
- Paris E-Prix - Postponed until October
- Musee Eugene Delacroix - Closed
- Paris Half-Marathon - Postponed until September
- Grand Palais Exhibition - Postponed
- Musee Jeu de Paume - Closed
- Harlem Globetrotters - Postponed
- Paradis Latin - Closed
- Les Invalides - Closed
- Musee de l'Armee Exhibition - Postponed
- Theatre de l'Odeon - Closed
- Vertical at Eiffel Tower - Postponed until September
- Theatre des Champs-Elysees - Closed
- Pompidou Centre - Closed
- Cite des Sciences - Closed
- La Cinematheque - Closed
- Paris Bridal Fair - Postponed
- Paris Manga Sci-Fi show - Cancelled
- Catacombes de Paris - Closed
- Maison de Radio - All performances cancelled to April minimum
- Comedie Francaise - Closed
- Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris - Postponed to October
- Paris Tattoo Convention - Cancelled
- Musee Picasso - Closed
- Musee Rodin - Closed
- Musee Jacquemart-Andre - Closed
- BNF (Bibliotheque National de France) - ALL sites Closed
- Palais de la Porte Doree - Closed
- Institut du Monde Arabe - Closed
- Musee des Arts Decoratifs - Closed
- Musee Nissim de Camondo - Closed
- Palais de Tokyo - Closed
- Musee Cluny - Closed
- Tour Montparnasse - Closed
- Saint-Denis Basilica - Closed
- Arc de Triomphe - Closed
- Palais Royal - Closed
- Sainte Chapelle - Closed
- Pantheon - Closed
- Chateau de Vincennes - Closed

Numerous shows at Paris venues have also been cancelled or postponed to future dates. Some of these venues include...

- AccorHotels Arena - Bercy Arena
- Olympia
- Opera de Paris
- Philharmonie de Paris
- Salle Pleyel
- Zenith Paris
- Bataclan
- Grand Rex
- Opera Bastille
- Grande Halle la Villette
- La Cigalle
- Dome de Paris - Palais des Sports
- Theatre de la Ville
- La Seine Musicale
- Stade de France

However, please look online first before trying to contact a place by telephone as there are limited resources for any company and the influx of calls to certain establishments has also been problematic to the telephone companies, hence hindering emergency services, etc.

Sources:,, RATP, SNCF, Routers, Paris local, BBC News