Gradually lifting the lockdown: what is changing from November 28, 2020!

Gradually lifting the lockdown: what is changing from November 28, 2020!

On 24 November 2020, the French President has announced how, and under which conditions the current lockdown will be lifted. November 28, 2020, December 15, 2020 and January 20, 2021 are the three key dates to remember.


Shops will reopen as of November 28, 2020.

With the only exception of bars, restaurants, museums, cinemas and theatres, all shops will be open to visitors from November 28, 2020 and will remain open until 21:00.   However, such reopening will be subject to compliance with a strict health protocol, validated on Wednesday November 25, 2020 by the High Council of Public Health. This protocol provides for:  
  • Compliance with a per-customer gauge of 8m2 of sales area or retail surface of the premises open to the public. This surface area can be assessed without deducting shelving, displays or furniture: until now, this gauge was set at 4m2 per person, including employees, and was calculated according to the sales area accessible to the public and available, i.e. after deduction of shelving, displays and other furniture. This seems to make it easier to calculate the gauge. It should also be noted that, for the calculation of this gauge, persons in a couple or accompanied by a child as well as those accompanying dependent persons will only count as one person. Furthermore, the High Council of Public Health recommends that this 8m2 gauge be associated with a distance of two meters between people;
  • Reinforced customer information, particularly by means of a display visible from outside the shop to show the maximum capacity of the shop or a reminder of the health instructions. Shops must also invite customers to download the Tous AntiCovid application and activate it when they enter the shop;
  • The appointment of a "COVID-19" representative in every shop, responsible for ensuring the implementation of this health protocol;
  • The implementation of a customer count at the entrance for shops of 400m2 and more, in order to respect the maximum gauge, set at 8m2. This counting therefore presupposes the presence of a staff member at the entrance;
  • The installation of hydroalcoholic products at the entry of the shops and the control, by the shopkeepers, of the wearing of masks by customers and employees;
  • Where the layout of the shop so allows, the installation of a one-way customer flow and floor markings;
  • Reduced "contact surfaces" in shops, i.e. handrails, door handles and touch screens, as retailers must ensure that these surfaces are cleaned and disinfected regularly and limit the handling and sharing of these objects by customers and employees;
  • Shop ventilation, with retailers having to commit to ensuring regular air renewal, either by natural ventilation (opening doors and windows) or by a mechanical ventilation system;
  Moreover, the Minister of Economy, Mr Bruno Le Maire says he is favorable to the opening of shops every Sunday until Christmas, which would allow a "catch-up" of four Sundays for the shopkeepers, taking into account the lockdown.    

Reopening of museums, cinemas and theatres, end of lockdown and implementation of a national curfew from December 15, 2020

Provided that cases of Covid-19 contamination are less than 5,000 per day on that date, museums, cinemas and theatres may plan to reopen.   Under the same condition, the President of the Republic should officially announce the end of lockdown and the introduction of a national curfew between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., except for the evenings of 24 and 31 December 2020.   However, in spite of this lifting of lockdown, companies should continue to prioritize, as far as possible, remote working for their employees.    

Reopening of restaurants as of January 20, 2020

Provided that the number of cases of Covid-19 contamination falls below 5,000 per day by that date, restaurants will be able to reopen and welcome customers.   However, no details have yet been given regarding the reopening of bars or discotheques.   [interne id="67035"]
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