Second lockdown phase

After implementing curfew measures in the middle of October, French President announced on 28 October that these were insufficient to contain the second wave of the Covid-19 in the country. As a result, a new lockdown entered into force today, 30 October, with some tolerance for travels until 1 November to let people go home after mid-term school break.
This lockdown is somewhat different from the Spring one:

What is similar:

– People will need to carry a certificate when outside their home. Reasons for being out are limited and penalties apply if one doesn’t comply with the requirement (€135 fine).
– Work from home is highly encouraged whenever possible
– First necessity shops remain open
– Cafés, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, etc. are closed

What changes:

– Public administrations remain open and will continue to process requests
– Creches, primary, secondary and high schools remain open. Children will need to wear masks as from the age of 6. Universities need to do distance learning.
– Some workers can continue work: construction, factories, etc.
– The list of “first necessity” shops is a bit longer than in Spring
– Non-essential shops such as book shops are allowed to organise delivery and “take away” collections

These measures are due to last until 1 December, as a start, and the list of activities allowed will be re-assessed every second week. If the infection rate falls, more shops may be allowed to open, in order to limit the economic impact as much as possible.

As to the borders, internal Schengen borders remain open. External borders remain closed, with a limited list of exempted travellers allowed to get visas and enter (see our recent updates for more information on exempted categories).

It is still to be clarified whether the PCR test is now required for all travellers or remains as it is today. As we write, the list of origin countries where travellers shall present or undergo a test upon arrival is limited to 34 countries + 4 where test is to be presented before boarding.
As a reminder, any traveller seeking to enter France must carry the International travel certificate along with the Statement of absence of symptoms, and if needed the PCR test. The certificate and statement are available on the Ministry’s website:

Once in France, prefectures and public authorities shall remain open and process applications. We have however seen unprecedented processing times in some administrations, and these new restrictions will certainly not ease State agents’ work as some may work from home again.

As to the foreign consulates in France, their position varies from one to the other. Some have cancelled appointments and postponed to the end of the lockdown, others keep working on a lighter agenda. It is recommended to check on a case-by-case basis.
We will continue to keep you updated on further developments and assist you as soon as possible to get the requested authorisations for future and current assignees to enter and circulate.

If you have any queries, please feel free to contact us:

Alexandra Demeure
Immigration Manager
Western Europe cluster
Alexandra.demeure@santaferelo.com

To read more immigration updates, click here

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