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Paris COVID-19 Quarantine - For English speakers

masonbee COVID-19

Introduction and disclaimer

These are items that I think might be useful. In all cases you should refer to the French Government for the final word. Feel free to add things or advice that you have found useful. Please provide references though. The last thing we want to do is to spread wrong information. Good luck. We are all in this together,

Mason Bee


Diagnosis is a problem at the moment. Hospitals are full and stressed. Basically, the best thing you can do is to stay home and wash your hands often. It can be very confusing though. For instance I thought I did have the virus and then I didn't but after watching this video it appears I probably do. Some people just have different symptoms.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.


Emergency numbers

  • The ambulance and emergency services number in France is 15.
  • European number is 112.
  • European number for the deaf is 114.

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.


Food Deliveries

I haven't used this yet but La Belle Vie has been recommended to me as a good way to get groceries delivered. It is in French though.

Takeaways are always good.


Exceptional travel certificate

Each time you go outside you need to fill out the form above. Basically you put your name on the first line, date of birth on the second, and your address on the third. Then you have to tick the box for your reason for leaving your residence. A brief translation is,

  1. Journeys between home and the place where the professional activity is carried out, when they are essential for the exercise of activities which cannot be organised in the form of teleworking (on permanent proof) or business trips which cannot be postponed.
  2. Travel to make essential purchases in authorised establishments(list on ;
  3. Travel for health reasons;
  4. Travel for compelling family reasons, assistance to vulnerable persons or childcare.
  5. Short journeys, close to home, related to the individual physical activity of people, excluding any collective sports practice, and to the needs of pets.

Then sign and date it.

If you do not carry one you can be fined or worse. If you do not have a printer I believe you can write one out and that will be fine. Please remember that it is supposed to be a quarantine so although you can game the system and go out quite a lot you want to try and limit going outside to really necessary outings.

There is a good article on The Local called France's coronavirus lockdown form - your questions answered.


Handy things

These are things that I find handy to have around.

  • Hand cleaner or soap.
  • Handy wipes for opening doors, buttons, etc...(tear in half for conservation)
  • Hand lotion (after washing your hands a lot they start falling apart)


There is a WHO page dedicated to this but basically;

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap for at least twenty seconds.
  • Stay at least a meter away from others when out.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and these are major entry points of the virus.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing.

The ambulance and emergency services number in France is 15.



  • If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.


Mental health

Keeping sane during the crisis is fairly important. The CDC notes that people should look out for signs of distressed mental health in themselves and others. Symptoms may include: 

  • Fear and worry about your own health
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

In general you should try and keep to some sort of rythm. Get up, have showers and breakfast and plan your day. Crises should be dealth with earlier rather than later. The UN has issued some guidance on mental heath for people in quarantine.


Myths about Corona-virus

There are a number of myths circulating about the Corona-virus such as;

  • It isn't transmitted in areas with hot and humid weather.
  • Cold weather and snow kill the virus.
  • It is prevented by a hot bath.
  • It can be transmitted through mosquito bites.
  • Hand dryers are effective in killing the virus.
  • UV lamps can be used to sterilise hands.
  • The efficacy of thermal scanners in detection.
  • Spraying yourself with alcohol or chlorine will kill the virus inside you.
  • Vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the virus.
  • Regularly rinsing your nose with saline will prevent infection.
  • Eating garlic will prevent infection.
  • It only affects older people.
  • Antibiotics work against the virus.
  • That there are specific medicines able to treat the virus.

Other questions can be answered at the WHO.


News in English for France


  • Traveling to work is permitted so long as the work is essential, cannot be postponed, and cannot be done from home
  • Shopping for groceries and other essential items is allowed; there is no need for panic-buying as supermarkets and bakers can remain open throughout the lock-down
  • Exceptions are also made for “imperative family reasons”, such as looking after children and the elderly. In practice, parents with shared custody can travel between each other’s homes; shopping for an elderly relative is also allowed (as long as people keep to a safe distance when visiting vulnerable relatives)
  • Brief outings to get some exercise or take pets for a walk are allowed, albeit “with parsimony”; All group activities, such as playing a football match, are strictly banned. These restrictions have now been tightened to one hour a day within one kilometer.
  • All health-related appointments are permitted, including trips to the pharmacy. For all information on the coronavirus outbreak, dial 08 00 130 000, free of charge. 

All people leaving their residence must carry an attestation (see Exceptional travel certificate above for a translation of the form).

Because of people flouting the rules there are now additional restrictions on the walkways by the Seine and many beaches. Outdoor markets have now been closed as well.




Each night at 8:00PM people have been gathering at their windows and on their balconies to clap and cheer in support of the Health workers.



If you use Google Chrome there should be an option to translate webpages automatically which will be helpful. For better translations I tend to use Deepl.

You can also take a URL (the web address at the top of your browser) and paste it into Google Translate and the URL on the right will be a translated version of the page.