Each morning we get up and have a moment of calm and reflection before going online to see what’s going on in the world. We watch the NBC Nightly News from the previous night online and, while it’s reassuring to see the faces of Lester Holt and his crew, it saddens me to see what’s going on across the ocean.
What are the restrictions put in place here in France? The big one is that we must stay at home. We can only go outside for these reasons:
- To travel to and from work if your work is essential and cannot be done from home
- To buy food and essentials
- To attend medical appointments
- For vital family reasons – attending to ailing parent or grandparent, for example.
- For individual physical exercise, jogging or walking is allowed but must be done alone or in pairs, within 2Km of home. Cycling is banned.
Anyone stepping out of their homes will need to present a certificate on demand, available to download from the government’s website, stating their reason for being out.
People breaking these restrictions will face a fine of €135. Police issued 4,000 fines in the first full day of lockdown, and France’s Interior Minister says the fine could rise to €375 if people continue to flout the rules.
So far, we have not seen anyone being stopped, nor have we been stopped, on the street while going to the store or taking a little walk for exercise. We are, however, taking our properly-completed forms with us every time. If you think this sounds a little like WWII movies you’ve seen of Nazi-occupied Paris (“show me your papers”), it doesn’t feel like that at all here. Instead, there’s generally a spirit of cooperation and carrying the form is no big effort.
There’s nothing like having an excellent lunch each day to lift the spirits. Today’s Paris Lockdown Lunch included tagliolini pasta and mushroom sauce with parsley and parmesan cheese, fresh bread with butter, and a lovely Malbec-Merlot red blend from Bordeaux. Santé!