France restricts outdoor movement under new isolation rules

French prime minister Jean Castex announces new Covid-19 national lockout rules, which will take effect at midnight on Thursday. The second lockdown was announced Wednesday by president Emmanuel Macron, who said it was necessary to curb the Covid-19 outbreak, which he said risks spiraling out of control.

Castex said people would be allowed to leave the home for basic purposes only: food shopping, commuting (if working from home is technically not possible), medical or compulsory family reasons. Outdoor exercise will be allowed within one hour and 1 km per day.

Visiting family or friends (or taking them home), engaging in community sports and traveling within France (including holiday homes) is prohibited. Individual sports such as jogging are allowed.

Citizens will be required to show a government document for each trip. Castex said other certifications could be issued by an employer where the employee needs to go to work, or by a school if children need to be taken to school. Failure to comply with this rule may result in a fine of 135 €.

The Prime Minister said that France’s EU borders will remain open and its external borders will be closed. Anyone from areas outside the EU / Schengen must have a Covid-19 test showing a negative result or else they will be tested.

Bars and restaurants, shops (excluding essential products) and amusement parks will be closed. Food shops, gas stations, tobacco and newsagents, pharmacies, care tenants, daycare centers and schools will remain open.

Castex said six-year-olds will need to wear face masks during class.

Sports clubs and conservatories should be closed. Castex said the hotels could stay open, but their restaurants had to close and only use room service. Public transport will remain open at current service levels.

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