Last update : March,18th 2020 - 5 pm

On this website you can find information and guidance from the French Government regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease COVID-19 in France.

As of March 17th at noon, outings will only be authorized, with a certificate, to:

  • Go to work, if remote working is not possible;
  • Go to your local grocery store;
  • Go to a medical appointment;
  • Take your children to daycare or to take care of an elderly person;
  • To work out close to your home.

Download your personal certificate in DOC format (17 ko)
Download the employer's certifcate in DOC format (18 ko)

At the beginning of 2020 a new coronavirus epidemic spread from China to the rest of the world. This new disease, COVID-19, was first reported in France on 24 January 2020.

What is coronavirus COVID-19?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that causes illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.

It is zoonotic, meaning that it was transmitted from animal to human. It is now sure that the disease can be transmitted from human to human.

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, coughing, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

How to protect yourself from the virus?

The virus does not spread on its own. People who have the virus are the ones who spread it. Therefore, the following measures can help you protect yourself (and others) from the virus:
  • Wash your hands very often;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve or with a tissue when you cough or sneeze;
  • Use single-use tissues, and then throw them away;
  • Do not shake hands or greet people with kisses on the cheek;
  • Avoid gatherings, reduce travel and contacts.
What should you do if you are feeling ill?
If, while you are in France, you have signs of a respiratory infection (a fever or feverish feeling, a cough), stay at home and call a doctor. If the symptoms get worse, dial 15 or call or send a text to 114 if you have a speech or hearing impairment.

Should you wear a mask?
The French government has requisitioned all stocks and productions of masks in France. They are now exclusively reserved for medical use.

Surgical masks are not recommended unless you are sick. Masks are not the right solution for the general public because they cannot be worn at all times and are not necessary unless you are in direct and prolonged contact with a sick person.


Coming to France

Is it safe to come to France?

France has not been quarantined but there are a few clusters of coronavirus COVID-19 in Oise, Haute-Savoie, Morbihan, Haut-Rhin, Corse du Sud, Aude and Calvados departments.

We recommend that you do not travel to these clusters.

Kindergartens, primary and secondary schools and universities are shut from 16 March until further notice.

On 14 March 2020, France entered the 3rd phase of the epidemic. The French Prime Minister has therefore ordered that all places open to the public and that are not essential services (food shops, pharmacies, service stations, banks, press outlets and essential public services) be closed until further notice.

How are people presenting symptoms dealt with at the airport?

People presenting symptoms are taken care of by the Airport Emergency Medical Service. They are then isolated and treated, as are all medical cases, by the SAMU Centre 15 (Emergency Medical Services), in accordance with procedures in place.

The French Government updates its recommendations regularly to protect your health and recommends protective measures against the Coronavirus COVID-19.

If you are in, or returning from, an area where the coronavirus COVID-19 is spreading, you should:

  • Check your temperature twice a day and keep watch for symptoms of respiratory infection (cough, difficulty breathing…)
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • Avoid contact with vulnerable people (pregnant women, chronically ill people, elderly people, etc.) and avoid visiting places where these people might be: hospitals, maternity wards, nursing and retirement homes, etc.
  • Avoid non-essential outings.
  • Remote working should be preferred.


A toll-free hotline service (French only) can answer your questions about the Coronavirus COVID-19 non-stop, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 0 800 130 000. The toll-free hotline service cannot give medical advice. If you have signs of a respiratory infection within 14 days of your return from an area where the coronavirus is spreading, dial 15, or send a text to 114 if you have a speech or hearing impairment.