Listen up, people. France is in Lockdown 2.0 and the rules are slightly different. Pay attention so you don’t get charged the €135 fee for first-time offenses, or the whopping €3,750 fee and six months jail time for repeat offenders. Police could ask for your attestation, and maybe your ID, and they might ask you to open your bag for them. France is not eff-ing around this time.

Left: a Parisian cafe at night. There are a few people sitting outside under the awning with lights on it. The rest of the buildings are dark, but there are some trees with bikes leaning against them that are visible. Right: The view of a window in Paris through another window. The panes of the window that is being looking through are visible and the window that can be seen is white with a bit of iron work on it.
Top: Rebekah Peppler – hebdomania / theglitteringunknown / Above: parisallsorts / emilytaubert

To frame it in a positive light, Ill first tell you what you can do.

You may go to work, if you can’t work from home. Business trips that can’t be delayed are also permitted. You’ll need the Justificatif de déplacement professionnel. If you’re self-employed, write up something and be prepared to back it up with some paperwork. I guess. That’s not clear. Good luck.

You may go to the doctor if the visit can’t be done by video.

You may go buy food, medicine, and items needed for work. (No, you can’t go to your boyfriend’s place to buy cookies from him. It has to be an authorized vendor.)

You may visit vulnerable family members or help out with family members’ child care needs. 

Disabled people and their caregivers may go outside.

Left: a large door in Paris. The door is dark green and made of wood. The building surrounding the door is made of stone and there are two windows visible to the left of the door and two windows above it. There is a bike parked on the sidewalk. Right: A view into a Parisian window. It is the top floor of an apartment building and several other rooftops can be seen. The windows of the apartment are lit up and a woman sitting down is visible.
parisallsorts / gailalberthalaban

You may go for solitary exercise or dog-walking within one kilometer of your home, or you may go with someone who lives with you. One hour, max. And hey—parks are open, unlike in Confinement 1.0. Woohoo!

You may keep judicial rendez-vous. 

You may take your kids to and from school, or take them to after-school activities. You’ll need the Justificatif de déplacement scolaire. Kids who go to school on their own need that too.

You may “participate in a mission of general interest upon request from an administrative authority.” I have no idea what that is—espionage? Starbucks run? Fact-finding mission? I can’t find anyone who has checked this box. Let us know if you have.

You may also use click and collect  for non-essential things, to shop locally and avoid Amazon.

Left: a woman wearing all white clothing, a mask, and a brown cap walking at the base of a staircase in Paris. There are Parisian buildings behind her with balconies and it is a cobblestoned street. Right: The same woman sits in a doctors office and is touching her arm where she got a shot. The chair is orange and there is a window with a curtain behind her.

Now, what you cant do

Go to your friend’s place just for the heck of it.

Walk in public with your friends.

Eat in a restaurant.

Gather in public.

You also can’t go to the movies, gyms, churches, museums, concerts, malls, or anyplace that sells clothing or toys or furniture. They’re all closed.

Left: A view of Parisian apartment buildings. The buildings are close together and there are several brick chimney stacks. There is a gray cat peeking it's head into the frame on the left. Right: A view of the Louvre Museum in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris. It is an elaborately detailed stone building. A path lined with trees with the leaves changing leads to the museum. There are empty chairs on the path to the right.
julieaucontraire / Santiago Yanez

What Im doing 

There is still joy to be had, pleasures to be tasted. One day, I bought a cappuccino and a slice of carrot cake from a take-out restaurant, went to a park, and sat on the grass in the sunshine to eat it. Yes, alone. But it was better than last time when parks were closed.

I walked past my friend’s apartment, and she leaned out her window (first floor) and we chatted like it was the most normal thing in the world. Loudly, but that’s what happens when you distance properly.

Buy books with click and collect. Place your order, then go pick it up from the shop’s front door.

Left: Parisian buildings lining the Seine River. The buildings are to the left and the river is to the right. There are trees lining the sidewalk next to the river and their leaves are changing colors. Right: A building in Paris. There are three stories visible and each story has three large windows. The top floor is the roof and the windows are smaller. The roof is slate. There are trees who's leaves have fallen off in front of the building.
annemaudette / pamelaloutfi

I’ve buddied up with my local merchants. Now, when I go buy veggies or cheese or a roast chicken, I can have an honest-to-god conversation about our kids or current events or the weather. As Luna Lovegood said, it’s almost like having friends… albeit masked and from a distance, bien sûr.

The one-kilometer limit only applies to exercise, so I’ve gone grocery shopping outside my limit when needed. There’s a Marks and Spencer that has decent bacon at 1.5 km, and an Asian place with great frozen dumplings. Bring your shopping bag and know where you’re going, because, like I said, the police are not kidding.

Left: a man wearing a mask riding a bicycle down an empty street in Paris. There is an empty cafe behind him and leaves from a tree are visible above him. Right: a couple with masks on walking on a sidewalk next to the Seine River in Paris. There are Parisian buildings visible in the background and tress are visible above them.

It is what it is

It’s just going to suck for a while. But if we stick to the plan, wear our masks, wash our hands, keep our distance, and stay home except for the really good reasons listed above, maybe we can travel and hug people and sip drinks on a terrace again in Paris. Someday soon.

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Written by Yvonne Hazelton for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates. 


Yvonne Hazelton

Yvonne is an American writer living in Paris. She blogs at Escaping the Empty Nest.


  1. I am just about to come & live in France from UK, I have bought a house as my new permanent home.
    It will be good to read this & keep in touch with what is expected in clear English
    Thank you
    Chris H

  2. We have been house sitting 3 hours from our primary residence. The owners have now returned and we need to go back home. Can we travel if we have proof of our residence with us?

    1. Hi there. Sorry for delay. I am not sure… what ended up happening? That said, I am pretty certain you can go home to your own country, yes?

  3. Have you been stopped? My gorgeous, young neighbor (wearing a mask) was stopped 3 X in March by a posse of cops. Me never. I think women of a certain age needn’t worry so much. More cops hanging around on the weekends then weekdays and never early mornings. I would never go out without a mask nor should anyone else, but we are not living in a police state yet. Its good to know the 1 kilm only applies to exercise! M&S has the best BLTs btw. Their Scotch moules are excellent too. And English apples yum

    1. Yeah I bet us older ladies pass more easily. How are you doing? It seems this lockdown is lighter than the last one…

  4. I wish they’d do this in the US, They haven’t even closed our schools and the numbers are way up. NOTHING is closed, unless the employees have COVID, then it closes for a couple days to clean. Paris will be out of lockdown before we ever get a handle on the virus. There are so many here who will not wear masks or social distance. Stay safe! I can’t wait to come back and visit your beautiful country!

  5. As a self-certified Francophile, I love reading your posts. It transports me to the most magical place I know. I love that you stress local, vs. Amazon. I try to impress that upon friends and family in the US, but I believe it mostly falls on deaf ears. The convenience and pricing seem to be more important than supporting small community businesses.
    Your attitude of all sticking to the plan for the greater good is a perfect message. The US is very divided on this, with many feeling their freedom and liberties have been stolen. Better to view it as something we are all part of, and that everyone one of us needs to follow guidelines for the benefit of one and all.
    Thank you, once again, for bringing Paris to my home!

  6. “participate in a mission of general interest upon request from an administrative authority.”

    Volunteer work at Restos du Coeur, for example. 😉

  7. Great article…merci.
    Paris can and will do it and then I will be back on the first flight to visit and support my favourite city in the world.

  8. We have just been through months of strict stage 4 lockdown here in Melbourne but the outcome with most people complying is that we are now out of lockdown and no new Covid cases for 14 days in a row and no deaths and only 4 Covid cases left with 2 of those in hospital.
    Great outcome!
    Lost my job but hey, have a roof over my head, food in my stomach and time to slow down and realise how fast paced my life was. Time to reassess. Not all bad.
    Best of all many many lives of loved ones were saved.
    You can do it!

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