Easing Lockdown

What does France's colour-coded Covid-19 map mean for overseas travel?

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, 28 May 2020 at a press conference in Paris.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, 28 May 2020 at a press conference in Paris. POOL/AFP

The French government presented its new colour-coded map on Thursday, indicating that due to a slowdown in the coronavirus epidemic, most regions will see a complete lifting of lockdown measures. However, the greater Paris region and two overseas territories face ongoing restrictions.


Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, accompanied by health minister Olivier Véran and education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer on Thursday presented new measures in relation to phase two of easing lockdown measures, as of 2 June, based on data drawn up by regional health authorities.

The overall message in terms of recovery from the coronavirus epidemic is positive Philippe says, but he warned that vigilance is required in areas where Covid-19 remains active and hospital services remain under pressure.

According to the latest edition of the colour-coded map, which was first released on 7 May, all of the country and its territories have now switched to green except Ile-de-France (Paris and its suburbs), Mayotte and Guyana, which now appear in orange, as opposed to red.

Screen grab of France's colour-coded map 28 May 2020, French health ministry.
Screen grab of France's colour-coded map 28 May 2020, French health ministry. © French health ministry
  • Ile-de-France: 149,071 confirmed cases of Covid-19, 6663 people in hospital, 589 of those in intensive care, 7053 deaths as of Thursday.
  • Mayotte: 1 621 cases, 21 deaths reported on Thursday
  • Guyana: 409 cases, 1 death.

"We will be closely monitoring Ile-de-France, Guyana and Mayotte where the virus is more active than elsewhere," Philippe said in his televised address, adding that "in these regions classified as orange, the easing of lockdown measures will be more cautious."

100 kilometre travel limit lifted

In terms of travel, the good news for those across mainland France, regardless of region, is being able to move beyond the 100 kilometre radius rule in place since 17 March.

Elsewhere, however, rules remain in place for overseas travel.

Philippe emphasised the fact that no travel is permitted between mainland France and the overseas territories except in limited circumstances.

Quarantine in place for overseas territories

Those arriving in overseas France's territories will be required to remain in quarantine for 14 days, and be tested and monitored for symptoms by local health services.

Philippe alluded to the "possibility" of opening up the number of flights during the summer vacation to these destinations, only if the health situation was deemed satisfactory.

Europe, and beyond

Travel across European borders is not authorised until at least 15 June, with a quarantine put in place reciprocally, if other countries intend to impose it.

Travel outside European borders will be announced closer to the 15 June, Philippe said, in conjunction with other member states.

The third phase of lockdown easing will be established on 22 June.

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