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Everything you need to know about Paris “déconfinement”
May 11th marked the beginning of a new phase in the fight against coronavirus in Paris as the city began slowly reopening after a two-month long quarantine. Classified as a “red zone,” the capital and surrounding lIe-de-France region are under stricter regulation post-quarantine than their “green zone” neighbors. Here’s what’s been going on…
Public transportation and travel
Although public transportation is now open to all, several measures have been put in place to ensure that passengers maintain social distancing and proper hygiene during their trip.
Passengers traveling by public transportation between 6:30 and 9:30 AM or between 4 and 7 PM will need to fill out paperwork detailing the nature of their trip. These peak travel hours are ideally reserved for those traveling to and from work, or for those dropping off or picking up their children from school. Failure to comply with these rules may result in a minimum fine of €135.
Many metro stations have also been closed and service has been greatly reduced, both in terms of frequency of trains and service start and stop times.
Most importantly, masks are now compulsory on all public transportation for anyone over the age of 11. Social distancing must also, of course, be maintained. Stickers have been placed on metro and train seats, as well as on the floor, to designate where passengers should and should not sit or stand.
If taking a taxi, masks must be work inside the vehicle if a plexiglass barrier separating driver and passenger has not been installed. Drivers are invited to keep their windows open in order to ventilate the vehicle.
New bicycle routes and widened sidewalks for pedestrians have been put in place to facilitate social distancing as the city reopens. Rue de Rivoli, for example, has been reserved exclusively for pedestrian traffic.
Finally, traveling more than 100 kilometers from home is prohibited, except for legitimate family reasons or for professional purposes justified by the employer. Failure to comply with these rules will result in a fine of €135.
Businesses and outdoor spaces
Until further notice, shopping malls and department stores larger than 40,000m² are closed. This includes Forum des Halles, Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, Printemps Haussmann, and Italie 2. Restaurants, cafés, and bars are also closed, although take-away and delivery service is possible. Movie theaters and concert halls (theatre, dance, opera, cabarets, clubs) are all closed as well as sports venues, swimming pools, community centers, party venues, and parks et gardens.
The Bois de Vincennes and Bois de Boulogne, however, are fully reopened, and The Champ-de-Mars as well as the Esplanade des Invalides are once again accessible. Parisians can also now sit along the river again along the quais of the Seine.
All shops, including beauty and hair salons, are now open. Open-air and covered markets are also authorized for reopening unless prohibited by the mayor or local prefecture for public health and safety reasons.
Individual sport activities, like running, are allowed without any time or locational restrictions throughout the capital, although team or contact sports are prohibited, even those played out in the open air.
Any gathering of more than 10 people, whether public or private, is prohibited.
Remote work continues to be implemented whenever possible. If, however, physical presence in the workplace is necessary, organizational measures have been put in place to limit the concentration of people within the establishment at once and to facilitate social distancing for those present.
Staggered working hours and staggered break times will be implemented. Employees must be able to remain socially distant from their colleagues in all areas of the workspace: in offices, hallways, staircases, cafeterias, and elevators.
If, despite the implementation of collective protection measures, social distancing cannot be guaranteed, then employees are required to wear masks.
Regular disinfection of high-contact surfaces and everyday objects, as well as ventilation of work place premises, have also implemented.
Schools in Paris have gradually reopened over time, with daycares, preschools, and elementary schools given first priority.
Families who do not wish to send their child(ren) to school have the right to keep them at home. A distance learning follow-up provided by the French national education system will be provided.
Classes can only accommodate a maximum of 15 students, with priority given to children whose parents work in a profession essential to the fight against Covid-19 or the resumption of activity related to déconfinement, in particular healthcare workers, firemen, police officers, social workers, teachers, public servants, and public transportation workers. Children with disabilities, children in protective care, children who cannot attend classes at home, and children at risk of dropping out of school are also given priority.
All school personnel must wear masks, although the children in daycares, preschools, and elementary schools, are not required to wear them. A minimum distance of one meter between each person within and outside of the establishment must be respected at all times and proper hygiene habits (hand washing, avoiding touching the face, etc.) are enforced.
Middle and high schools in Paris continue to remain closed until further notice due to the city’s classification as a “red zone”.
Sources: Déconfinement : toutes les mesures de la Ville ; Déconfinement : réouverture progressive des crèches, écoles et collèges ; Déconfinement : déplacements et offre de transports encore limités ; Commerces et établissements ouverts ou fermés après le 11 mai 2020 ? ; Déconfinement dans les entreprises : assurer la sécurité et la santé des salariés