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End of health emergency

As France's Covid-19 health emergency ends, what changes now?

French retailers can now charge the market price for surgical face masks. During the health emergency, the government ordered prices to be kept low.
French retailers can now charge the market price for surgical face masks. During the health emergency, the government ordered prices to be kept low. DENIS CHARLET / AFP
Text by: Jan van der Made with RFI
4 min

France's health emergency that started on 23 March to counter the Covid-19 epidemic draws to an end on Friday. From 11 July, the country will move into a transitional period of four months, where some restrictions will remain.

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5,000 spectators allowed at sports events

From Saturday 11 July, the public will be able to enjoy sports events in stadiums and racetracks – but with a "maximum capacity" of 5,000 people. Cinemas, holiday resorts, casinos and recreation centres already opened on 22 June.

OL Groupe, la holding cotée coiffant l'Olympique lyonnais, pensionnaire de Ligue 1, a encore accru sa participation au sein du club de basket LDLC Asvel, pour la porter à 33,33% du capital
OL Groupe, la holding cotée coiffant l'Olympique lyonnais, pensionnaire de Ligue 1, a encore accru sa participation au sein du club de basket LDLC Asvel, pour la porter à 33,33% du capital AFP/Archives

Sailing the rivers, but not yet the seas

River boat cruises are allowed again and travellers will be able to move between European ports on ships of limited size. Ocean cruises may again be possible as of September, but authorities prefer to wait the end of the summer for a final decision.

Coronavirus outbreaks on cruise ships have led to a collapse in demand for the industry
Coronavirus outbreaks on cruise ships have led to a collapse in demand for the industry AFP/File

No more cheap masks

Prices for surgical face masks were artificially set at 95 cents per item (80 cents in wholesale), but as of 11 July, shops can charge market price.

With prices set to go up with the end of France's health emergency, there may be more home made face masks out on the streets.
With prices set to go up with the end of France's health emergency, there may be more home made face masks out on the streets. BELGA/AFP/File

Sick pay delay

During the crisis, public and private sector workers were paid as of the first day they called in sick. From 11 July, public sector workers will only be paid from the second day, while those in the private sector won’t have an income for three days.

No more sick pay on the first day.
No more sick pay on the first day. AFP/Miguel MEDINA

Evictions possible again

A temporary halt on evictions on people not able to pay rent or mortgage (in place since 1 November) was extended to 10 July as a result of Covid-19, which affected budgets of many households. People who were not able to pay electricity or gas were exempt as well. But as of 11 July, procedures to evict people or stop gas or electricity supply due to default are again possible.

A homeless man outside the post office in Givors, near Lyon, France, 9 May 2020.
A homeless man outside the post office in Givors, near Lyon, France, 9 May 2020. JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP

Lower tax ceiling on income generated by overtime work

During Covid-19, people could earn up to 7,500 euros in overtime without being taxed. That threshold will now drop to 5,000 euros.

Health workers were among those who benefited from eased conditions on overtime pay. They have been protesting to demand scrapping temporary benefits for a real pay rise.
Health workers were among those who benefited from eased conditions on overtime pay. They have been protesting to demand scrapping temporary benefits for a real pay rise. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Restrictions remain on theatres

Among the restrictions that will continue after the health emergency is lifted: if theatres expects an audience of over 1,500 people, they will have to declare it in advance.

Paris' plethora of smaller theatres will be relieved that the health emergency has ended, with continuing limits on theatre attendance staring far higher than their modest capacities.
Paris' plethora of smaller theatres will be relieved that the health emergency has ended, with continuing limits on theatre attendance staring far higher than their modest capacities. (c) Siegfried Forster / RFI

Cover up in the subway

The wearing of masks remains obligatory for people using public transport.

Not all metro users have respected the mandatory masks rule. How will it go now that the health emergency has ended?
Not all metro users have respected the mandatory masks rule. How will it go now that the health emergency has ended? Philippe Lopez / AFP

Nightclubs a no-go

Fairs, exhibitions and night clubs will not open during the four month transitional period. The government will look into when it will be possible to return to normal.

Will Paris nightclubs follow in the footsteps of other leading capitals and go online, like Zouk here in Singapore?
Will Paris nightclubs follow in the footsteps of other leading capitals and go online, like Zouk here in Singapore? AFP

 

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