Covid: French departments instating new restrictions

Published by Cécile D., Caroline J. · Updated on 3 August 2021 at 17h56 · Published on 20 July 2021 at 13h55
Faced with the spread of the Delta variant, some departments have decided to turn the screw and instate new health measures. Facemask-wearing, no more gatherings, curfew for restaurants and bars… Here is more on these restrictions.

After a reassuring decrease in the incidence rate everywhere in France, the latter has been skyrocketing. As of July 27, 2021, only eight departments are still set under the alert threshold of 50 cases for 100,000 inhabitants. The spread of the Delta variant all over the country has the French authorities worried so much that President Emmanuel Macron has decided to make vaccine compulsory for caregivers. A health pass is also compulsory since Wednesday July 21 to access some places and establishments open to the public, over 50 people.

Local restrictions have been implemented as well as by some prefects: reinstated curfew, facemask-wearing compulsory outside again, and alcohol consumption banned on public roads… Here are departments subject to new restrictions.


Because of the “brutal deterioration of the health situation in Charente-Maritime”, the department prefect has issued a decree extending to August 31, 2021 perimeters where facemask-wearing is compulsory. It features fifty cities including Île de Ré, Île d’Oléron, and La Rochelle. Please note this restriction does not apply to parks and gardens, beaches and woods, forests and swamps.

Furthermore, Ouest-France states drinking alcohol on public roads is banned until August 31 as well.


Meurthe-et-Moselle department also decided to turn the screw because of the spread of the Delta variant in the area. Therefore, compulsory facemask-wearing is back from Wednesday July 21 in public places, “in cities over 5,000 inhabitants in addition to inter-communalities which incidence rate is close or has exceeded 50 cases for 100,000 inhabitants”, the Meurthe-et-Moselle prefecture explained on Facebook.


Restrictions have been made by the prefect of Pyrénées-Orientales as well to stop the spread of Covid-19?

Since this past July 17, facemask-wearing is once again compulsory in public places in all cities in Pyrénées-Orientales, excluding beaches and big natural spaces. This measure applies to anyone over 11 years of age.

Furthermore, the prefecture has issued a decree to reinstate nighttime curfew. Until August 2, bars, restaurants, and beach establishments must close at 11 p.m.

Hauts-de-Seine : le port du masque généralisé est illégal, nouvel arrêtéHauts-de-Seine : le port du masque généralisé est illégal, nouvel arrêtéHauts-de-Seine : le port du masque généralisé est illégal, nouvel arrêtéHauts-de-Seine : le port du masque généralisé est illégal, nouvel arrêté Covid: facemask-wearing compulsory outside in these 38 departments
Faced with the spread of the Delta variant and the fourth wave, several French cities and departments have decided to instate compulsory outdoor facemask-wearing again to curb the coronavirus epidemic. [Read more]


In Haute-Corse, the incidence rate reaches 699 for 100,000 people, a level far higher than the domestic average. Faced with this epidemic wave, since July 27 and through prefectorial decision, Haute-Corse inhabitants must once again wear a facemask in the crowded areas of Bastia, Corte, Cali, Ile Rousse, Calenzana, and St Florent.

Furthermore, gatherings over 10 people on beaches and in natural spaces are banned past 9 p.m. Last but not least, bars and restaurants must close past midnight starting from August 1.


There too, the prefecture has had to take action: they announced on July 25 facemask-wearing was compulsory again in most of the department public place.

Drinking alcohol and loud music are banned on public roads until August 16 at the earliest.


Since Friday July 23, facemask-wearing is compulsory in 58 of the 153 cities of Var excluding in natural spaces like forests or beaches.


Landes has been suffering from the Delta variant for several months: the department delayed the last step of their lockdown exit strategy. Health measures instated are extended: inhabitants must comply with a ban of “gatherings, meetings, or entertainments on public roads or places open to the public” including over 20 people at the same time like “open-air festivals, shows and concerts with standing crowds and in places open to the public” until August 4.

Furthermore, facemask-wearing is compulsory in crowded areas, drinking alcohol is banned on public roads, and the 5,000-seated-people gauge in places open to the public is still on.


South-Western France is badly hit by the epidemic. To prevent a major growth in cases over the summer, the Pyrénées-Atlantiques prefect instates facemask-wearing in the street for anyone over 11 years of age in Anglet, Bayonne, Biarritz, Guéthary, Hendaye and Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Drinking alcohol is also banned on public roads in these six cities until August 31 included.


Many cities along the Vendée coast are once again to comply with facemask-wearing excluding on the beach. Drinking alcohol on public roads is banned as well. Restrictions are up until August 4.


The south is not the only part of France hit by the epidemic. In Essonne, a prefectorial decree issued this past July 21 instates facemask-wearing again in the entire department for events gathering over ten people outside, as well as in some risky situations: markets, queues, by highly-crowded places…


Gatherings over 10 people are now banned on beaches past midnight and until August 15. Prefect Hugues Moutouh explains in a release this decision has been made because health guidelines were not complied with during gatherings.


With 1,000 cases for 100,000 inhabitants, Martinique is the territory the most hit by this epidemic wave. For already two weeks, curfew is on from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Gatherings over ten people are banned and restaurants are only allowed to open their terraces to patrons.

In Réunion, even more restrictive measures are considered. The prefect is expected to announce these new measures at any minute. Our peers from France Télévisions think early curfew and weekend lockdown could be instated.

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