COVID-19: France

On 16 March 2020, the French government announced measures limiting the movement of private individuals from 12:00 on 17 March 2020 for a minimum of two weeks with the aim of containing the risk of COVID-19 infection.

We have summarised the broad-ranging restrictions below, but we are pleased to report that thanks to contingency plans, France’s commercial ports remain fully functional.  Similarly, Budd’s staff, lawyers and surveyors in France are continuing to assist clubs and their members in the usual manner.

Ports of Le Havre, Rouen & Paris

In the attached circular, these three ports confirm that having redefined task priorities, modified staff rotas to reduce personal contact between essential staff on the ground, and introduced remote working, all essential services are still being provided.  In case of need, meetings are being held by teleconference.

Port of Marseille-Fos

This port has also introduced a contingency plan to maintain activity for all vessels and stakeholders.

Marseille-Fos advises that vessels will be able to berth or drop anchor at anchorage between 23:00 and 05:00 (04:00 for container ships).

However, no pilot services will be available during this period.

The port therefore recommends vessels arriving Marseille-Fos who require pilot services to adapt their speed if required to avoid arriving between 23:00 and 05:00 (or 04:00 for container ships).

The French-language circular on the above pilotage changes is to be found here.

The port has also issued this press release in English.

Summary of General COVID-19 Measures in France

People are only allowed to leave their homes for the following reasons:

  • Travel to a place of work but only if remote working is not possible, or if a personal intervention cannot be delayed;
  • The purchase of essential items such as groceries, petrol or medication;
  • Health care;
  • Vital family reasons, caring for vulnerable people or children;
  • Short periods of exercise practiced singly and near to home.  No collective sport is to be practiced.

When people do leave their homes, they must carry a statement signed on their honour indicating the purpose of their journey.

Those who need to travel for professional purposes (e.g. medical staff, public utilities, transport industry including shipping, etc.) must carry a statement completed by their employer.

A fine of at least Euros 135.00 may be levied in case of infringement.

With the exception of food shops, chemists, petrol stations, tobacconists and news agents, all shops must remain closed, as indeed must all places of education, libraries, restaurants, sports and entertainment venues.

Hotels remain open.  They are authorised to provide room service to their guests but their restaurants are closed.

Restaurants providing a take-away or delivery service can continue to operate.

Derogations have also been granted to all companies in the following sectors:  short-term accommodation which serves as a domicile, laundry/dry cleaning, spare parts or repairs to specific essential items, financial services, insurance, funeral parlours.


British Government advice on travel to France: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france
French Government update on COVID-19 measures: https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus

Information provided by

Budd Rouen-Le Havre                                Budd Marseille-Fos
Budd.rouen@budd-pni.com                        general.marseille@budd-pni.com


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