France Enters Four-Week Lockdown

25 March 2021 By Staff Report

France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex said that the COVID-19 health situation in France has deteriorated with the “third wave being mainly due to the rise in the circulation of variants.” So beginning March 20, 2021, a lockdown is in place for parts of France (départements Aisne, Alpes-Maritimes, Essonne, Eure, Hauts-de-Seine, Nord, Oise, Paris, Pas-de-Calais, Seine-et-Marne, Seine-Saint-Denis, Seine-Maritime, Somme, Val-de-Marne, Val-d’Oise, and Yvelines) for at least four weeks, similar to the lockdowns in March and November 2020 and affecting almost a third of the country’s population.

However, restrictions are more flexible with no limit on the time spent outdoors between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Other regions of France are being closely monitored with possible restrictions being announced. The previous national curfew (6 p.m. to 6 a.m.) changed to 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. on March 20. For the areas in lockdown, you can circulate freely from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the condition that you have an exemption certificate and are outdoors for one of the following reasons: professional, medical, assisting someone in need, school, child care, physical activity, or walking a pet. Physical activity is limited to a 10-kilometer radius from your home, and unlike the other activities, only requires identification with proof of address, France24 reports.

In areas with lockdown measures, travel between regions, along with international travel, is prohibited unless you have a pressing or professional reason to do so. For other areas, there are no restrictions on travel within France. All non-essential stores, including clothing, shoes, and toy shops are closed in areas under lockdown measures. Bookshops and record stores are also still open, as they are considered essential this time around. A mask must be worn in all venues. For more information and the exemption certificate, visit:

As for navigating French waters, Riviera Yacht Support (RYS) shared on March 13 that there’s no date for an end to the current decree in place, but the French government plans on lifting restrictions from mid-April onwards. The decree states that transit is permitted to reach the vessel’s homeport or to go to a shipyard for planned repairs. A homeport is defined as if the vessel owns the berth and is directly linked to the berth.

From speaking to controlling authorities (Prefecture of the French Mediterranean and local port authority), RYS added non-EU flagged vessels — whether privately or commercially registered — are permitted to transit from port to port where they have a confirmed reservation, all anchoring and stopping is NOT permitted with exception of cases of absolute necessity (and as outlined in Article 2 of Decree 85-185), picking up a charter in France while in port and leaving port to depart France is permitted, and chartering is permitted. Each port or shipyard may have its own particular restrictions and documentation request, but vessels can arrive in France with a prior confirmed reservation along with a Declaration Maritime Sante (DMS), valid ship sanitation certificate, and Attestion sur l'Honneur covid (a document declaring you have no cases or signs of covid on board).

The European Committee for Professional Yachting (ECPY) clarified on March 24 the point regarding anchoring and stopping and the Préfecture Maritime indicated that this decree and regulations are specific to COVID-19 and is to be repealed, allowing yachts to anchor, as long as it’s in compliance with regulations linked to protecting Posidonia.`