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COVID-19 in France: coronavirus information and support

Updated: Sep 17, 2022


Find out all you need to know about the COVID-19 limitations in France with the help of our guide to coronavirus information, including more.

Although France was able to mount an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a relatively short amount of time, the nation has been severely impacted by the virus in terms of both public health and its economy. The coronavirus has been responsible for nearly 100,000 fatalities in the nation. Despite this, the 2021 vaccine rollout was mainly successful, and the French economy is exhibiting signs of recovery as a result of the relaxation of restrictions.

It is crucial to know the most recent COVID limits and rules if you now reside in France or are going to move there shortly.


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Overview of COVID-19 in France


In terms of the overall number of COVID-19 cases and fatalities, France has been among the nations that have been impacted the worst. Since the beginning of the epidemic, this nation has maintained its position as one of the top 10 in terms of its overall response. However, in response, the government of France has implemented some of the most stringent restrictions in all of Europe, in addition to extensive immunization and testing initiatives.

In France, the Ministry of Health & Solidarity is in charge of leading the charge against the epidemic caused by the coronavirus. The information that can be found on their website about the infection is really helpful. On its interactive portal, it releases daily data that provides an overview of the number of cases, fatalities, and vaccination rates from across the country.


Coronavirus rules & measures in France

In March of 2020, France fell under lockdown for the first time, and the limitations lasted for a total of two months. Since then, the government has relaxed certain restrictions while simultaneously increasing others, depending on the rate at which the virus is moving around the nation as well as the number of people who have been admitted to hospitals. These limitations have included things like curfews, social isolation, border controls, and even mandates that people wear face masks. The pass Sanitaire was implemented by the French government in conjunction with the national immunization program. This is a pass with a QR code that people may use to get access to a variety of services and enterprises.


Certain sectors of society have been quite loud in their opposition to the limits brought forth by COVID-19. Rallies against lockdowns have been rather popular in France, and several French residents have also been protesting some coronavirus precautions. The implementation of the pass Sanitaire was without a doubt one of the most contentious decisions. The most strident complaints were directed at this particular proposal since a large number of individuals perceived it as an infringement on their liberties.

The laws that the government has in place regarding Covid measurements are subject to periodic revisions, and the most recent information may be found on the website that is officially run by the government. Visit the website Me Conseils Covid for the most up-to-date information on what to do if you have symptoms of Covid, including advice on testing, self-isolation, vaccines, travel rules, and the pass Sanitaire. Visit Santé.fr to locate the testing facility that is most convenient for you.


Apps for COVID-19 in France

In October 2020, the French government introduced the TousAntiCovid tracking app to the public. It can have direct communication with general practitioners and the health insurance system of the state (l'Assurance Maladie). Through the application, you will also have access to the electronic version of your pass sanitaire.


COVID-19 passport or pass sanitaire

Everyone above the age of 12 is needed to have the pass sanitaire, which is the equivalent of the Digital Covid certificate required by the EU. It provides you with a QR code, which is required for entry into some public places as well as certain kinds of long-distance transportation. You have the option of using a printed version or, more typically, a digital version that may be accessed via the TousAntiCovid app.

It is possible that your digital certificate may not be acknowledged in France if you had your vaccinations outside of the country. This is dependent on the location of the vaccination you received. For instance, if you had your vaccination outside of Europe, you will have to submit a request to have your certificate converted to be eligible for a French pass sanitaire. Through the website demarches-simplifiees.fr, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made an online process available for this purpose.


Coronavirus testing in France

When the epidemic first started, any tests in France were done without charge. However, starting in July 2021, non-resident foreigners will be required to pay for the test unless they have a prescription from a doctor or they are a contact case.


Even those who live in France will have to pay for their examinations beginning in the middle of October 2021. Despite this, there are significant exemptions to this rule; for instance, if you have a prescription from your doctor or if you are a contact case, testing will not cost you anything.


Three kinds of Covid testing are available in France: virologique (PCR tests), antigénique (antigenic tests) & sérolgique (antibody tests). You may discover testing locations near you on Santé.fr. Visit the website of the French Ministry of Health for the most up-to-date information on testing for Covid.


PCR Tests

In France, a PCR test may be administered either by swabbing the inside of the mouth or the nasal cavity. Be informed that parents are required to express their consent for their children to undergo saliva testing at school. The results are often accessible within twenty-four hours. Some locations, in addition to providing lab testing, also provide drive-thru PCR testing, which enables you to avoid ever having to exit your vehicle.


Antibody tests

The antibody test, sometimes called the serological test, is a blood test that checks for antibodies rather than for contagiousness. You will have the results within the next day. If you are interested in getting an antibody test, you should get in touch with a medical laboratory (laboratoire d'analyses médicales) in your area. Additionally, some pharmacies may provide rapid antibody testing with findings available in a matter of minutes. These tests are termed TROD (tests rapide d'orientation diagnostique). When you travel, you could find that entering some countries requires you to have both a negative PCR test and an antibody test.


Antigenic tests

A swab taken from the nasal cavity may be used as part of an antigenic test that can be administered by a nurse, doctor, or pharmacist. They may be used in the patient's home and can even be performed by the patient themselves while being supervised. They examine the patient to determine if or not they have the Covid-19 virus. You should expect to get results in less than half an hour.


If you test positive for COVID-19 in France

If you test positive for coronavirus in France, you are required to self-isolate for ten days. If any members of your family have not received the appropriate vaccinations, they will be required to stay in isolation. This includes youngsters, many of whom ought not to be attending school. You should still go ahead and be tested for antigenic factors.

After ten days, you will be able to leave the isolation room as long as you have been symptom-free for the preceding forty-eight hours. There is no need for a test. However, if you feel that your illness is becoming worse during the next 10 days, you should make an appointment with your doctor or phone the national information line. Visit the webpage for the Mes Conseils Covid department of the Health Ministry for the most recent information.


COVID-19 vaccinations in France


As of September 2021, 75% of people living in France have at least one dosage of the vaccination under their belt. Every day, there are around 34,000 individuals who are receiving vaccinations. If things continue as they are, the whole population of France may be immunized by March of 2022 at the current pace. Our World in Data reveals that despite this, a sizeable portion of the French population is adamantly opposed to being vaccinated.

On the website of the French Covid Tracker, current data on COVID immunization rates may be found. Another option is to go to data.gouv.fr, which will provide you with a substantial amount of data about vaccinations in France.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is available at vaccination facilities in France for those over the age of 12 only. In addition, people over the age of 12 may get the Moderna vaccination at their neighborhood doctor's office. The AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccinations are also available to those who are 55 years old or older.

If you need to be vaccinated, the website Santé.fr can help you locate a vaccination location in your area where you may do so. ViteMaDose, which can be found on the Covid Tracker website, is another resource that may assist you in finding a slot as quickly as possible.


International travel during COVID-19 in France


During the COVID-19 pandemic, international travel restrictions from and to France will rely heavily on your country of origin/destination, as well as your vaccination status. Therefore, it is in your best interest to do your study somewhat ahead of time. On the France Diplomacy website, you may find helpful recommendations in addition to country-specific information.

Proof of vaccination is required for entry into France for tourists from a growing number of countries, however, this need is becoming less common. For instance, inhabitants of different EU nations may demonstrate their identity by presenting the QR code that was issued to them by their home country. For tourists coming from farther abroad, the procedure differs according to each individual's home nation. If you are not vaccinated, you could be required to confirm that a PCR test came out negative. On the website for France's diplomacy, you can check out all of the most recent standards as well as find out which nations are on the green, orange, and red lists.


Long Covid support in France

If you experience symptoms of Long Covid, your primary care physician (médecin traitant) should be your first point of contact. They may recommend more testing to determine the therapy that would be most effective for you or put you in contact with a specialist. In addition, if your condition is more severe, a medical professional could direct you to a "post-Covid center."


The Haute Autorité de Santé contains a wealth of information about Long Covid's symptoms as well as potential remedies. According to the estimations provided by this organization, 10% of those who have COVID-19 and have been infected with it for more than six months may develop symptoms. This number rises to 80 percent for individuals who are hospitalized.

Check out the Survivor Corps worldwide support group if you have Long Covid and are searching for someone to talk to about your experiences. Likewise, the French organizations Après J20 and TousPartenairesCovid can provide both information and guidance to their members.

There is not a lot of official information available regarding Long Covid in children at this time. A support group on Facebook has been established for the families of the hundreds of youngsters who have been afflicted in France. Additionally, the Long Covid Kids website or support groups provide a wealth of information in the form of facts, statistics, and connections to English-language research.

Assistance provided by COVID-19 to French companies, sole proprietors, and independent contractors

During lockdowns, the French government offered financial assistance in the form of subsidies to auto-entrepreneurs and micro-entrepreneurs, which are terms referring to small firms and freelancers. There are still certain financial assistance measures that are being used to prop up the economy.


For instance, if you manage a health-restricted organization or operate a small company, you may be eligible for financial help. In the same vein, you should get in touch with URSSAF if the pandemic has caused you to lose money as a freelancer and you want to find out what benefits are available to you. Even though the URSSAF website has a plethora of material, it is sometimes simpler to contact them for individualized guidance.

Additionally, if you go to the website of the French government, you will get a useful compilation of facts linked to the pandemic as well as assistance for employees and enterprises in a variety of industries.

Reports on the effects of COVID-19 on the French economy are issued quarterly by INSEE, which is the National Institute of Statistics. A decrease of about 8% in France's GDP was recorded in the year 2020. Despite fresh waves of the epidemic, the French economy is gradually making a comeback. This is probably because of broad immunizations, fewer people being hospitalized, and the reopening of commercial and cultural areas.

Additionally helpful, INSEE offers interactive graphs that will assist you in visualizing the current economic position in the country.


Impact of COVID-19 on education in France


During the first phase of the lockdown, which began in March 2020 and lasted for many months, the government ordered all schools and institutions to be closed. However, registration for them began once again beginning the 2020-2021 school year. Since that time, classes are sometimes canceled, but only if positive cases are found within the student body. However, a significant amount of university-level instruction is still carried out online.

The French government wants to keep schools open as much as it possibly can and is working toward that goal. Masks are still being used in schools for staff members as well as students who are beyond the age of six (from primary school up). In addition, parents in France provide their permission for testing for the coronavirus to be conducted on their children's classmates.

On its website, the Education Ministry makes the most recent information it has available to the public. There is also a substantial question and answer section on this subject. In addition, the government of France encourages vaccinations for all children aged 12 and older in the country.

Families with children of any age are eligible for support and assistance from the Ministry of Health and Solidarity, which has also made resources for dealing with the pandemic's effects accessible to them.

The website of the Ministry of Higher Education should be your first line of contact if you are looking for information and help for university students during COVID. However, the most recent instructions and suggestions will be communicated to the students of each specific university and faculty by those institutions.


COVID-19 support for vulnerable people in France

A specialized COVID-19 online platform known as Solidarités Handicap is available to users who have handicapped family members in their household. It provides information on local programs that may aid with child care, educational support, and mental health assistance.

Calling the Red Cross at 09 70 28 30 00 is recommended for those who are old or otherwise vulnerable. Additionally, there is a delivery service that assists individuals in gaining access to medications as well as other necessities.

In addition, the Ministry of Health and Solidarity has compiled a list of resources for older individuals who live alone and the caregivers who assist them. During the epidemic, several organizations and associations are encouraging neighbors to engage in acts of solidarity with one another; thus, it is important to determine how you may benefit from or contribute to these efforts.


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