Newsletter of IFCU 8 JULY
Communication - COVID19 - 5 May 2021
Keep Calm & Stay Safe
Source : APUAF COVID-19 Committee - Last Updated: May 3, 2021
The French Government and Minister of Education has allowed for campuses to reopen (up to 20% of the student body on any given day and 50% occupancy in classrooms) for in-person teaching and activities. Students involved in practical and laboratory instruction will continue to follow their courses in-person when necessary. The teaching methods remain largely hybrid with online instruction taking precedent. Students and faculty can verify class scheduling with their primary school or institution.Student Visas
International students are authorized to enter France at this time, as long as they fall into the category of students moving to France for the second semester of the current academic year as part of a higher education institution program. Campus France in the U.S. states that it is awaiting further clarification concerning this restriction and will share more information here: Campus France Student Visa FAQ
All VFS Centers in the U.S. are open and accepting student visa appointments for students authorized to enter France. French Consulates continue their service of delivering visas to international students authorized to travel.
• A communiqué has been published on the Campus France website: Advice for Students Coming to France 2021.
• A guide that summarizes the steps to follow has been published on the Campus France website: France Welcomes You Guide
Students should consult the Campus France website for information concerning what documents and paperwork (unrelated to COVID-19) are necessary to complete the visa process or travel abroad for studies.
As of January 18, 2021, there is an obligatory self-isolation period of 7 days upon entry to France from outside the Schengen Area (10 days for those coming from Argentina, Brazil, Chili, India and South Africa). The state health insurance website, Ameli.fr gives detailed advice (in French) for limiting contact with others and keeping living conditions clean during self-isolation. Campus France describes the conditions of the 7-day quarantine: Campus France Recommendations including description of Quarantine:Stay at home as much as possible Limit your time outside to essential needs Avoid contact and always wear a mask in the presence of another person Inform your school that you are quarantining Avoid contact with other people in your residence/at home If your accommodation is a university residence, inform the administration that you are quarantining sothat cleaning and disinfection measures can be implemented In case of symptoms, contact a doctor immediately. Access to health care & hospitalization The government has created a platform mesconseilscovid.sante.gouv.fr which allows anyone with symptoms to obtain within 3 minutes personalized advice as to how to proceed (for treatment, testing, etc) and how to protect oneself and others. Virtual consultations and in-person appointments with general practitioners are readily available with little wait time. Same day house-calls are also available in most French cities (through services such as SOS Médecins or UMP). (https://www.sosmedecins.fr and https://www.ump.fr) Students have access to all French public hospitals where there is a dedicated space for COVID patients. French Hospitals are currently at 110.3% capacity for intensive care/reanimation beds. This statistic compares number of COVID patients hospitalized currently compared to number of intensive care beds available BEFORE the pandemic, and thus does not count the additional beds and services put in place in 2020 and 2021. Statistics can be tracked here: France COVID Dashboard Web-based platforms and apps such as “Doctolib” allow students to book medical appointments across the country with ease: https://www.doctolib.fr Access to testing
Three kinds of diagnostic COVID tests are currently available in France to test patients for COVID.
1. The (RT-PCR) test to determine if the patient has COVID at the time of the test.
• Results are available within 24 – 36 hours.
• France currently is performing 1.3-1.4 million tests per week.
• 100% covered by Social Security and do not require prescription. Otherwise, out of pocket costs are approximately 70-80 euros per test. https://fr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
• They are administered in testing centers, medical facilities and labs but also by nurses, medical students, paramedics, firemen, etc. There are currently over 6000 testing centers across France. COVID Testing Sites in France
Who can be tested (RT-PCR)?
o Anyone can benefit from a test. There is no need to even show symptoms.
o The health authorities could request mandatory testing for close contact cases.
o The health authorities could request testing of certain groups in the context of testing campaigns (fragile groups, residents of a certain zone or in a certain group accommodation, etc.)
2. The Antigen Test to determine if the patient has COVID at the time of the test. https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/actualites/A14435
• Results within 15-30 minutes
• Available especially in some pharmacies and at airports.
• 100% covered by Social Security and do not require a prescription. Patients who don’t have French Social Security currently may experience limited access to Antigen tests.
Who can be tested (Antigen)?
• Patients with symptoms can opt for this test if they fulfill the following criteria:
o Have been asked to be tested as part of an institutional testing program (at schools and universities, work places, etc)
o No underlying conditions, meaning not susceptible to developing a serious form of Covid.
• Patients without symptoms who:
o Have been asked to be tested as part of an institutional testing program (at schools and universities, work places, etc)
o Need to be tested as a requirement before a medical appointment
o Wish to be screened at anytime
• Auto-test Antigen Tests are available in pharmacies starting April 12, 2021
• Patients who test positive in an Antigen test are asked to confirm result with a PCR test
3. Saliva Test: The French government has approved the use of COVID-19 saliva tests in primary and secondary schools and universities after winter break (Feb 2021) : https://www.education.gouv.fr/covid19-un-acces-prioritaire-aux-tests-pour-les-personnels-de-l-education-nationale-et-pour-les-307814
An Immunity Test (blood test) is available in France to determine if the patient has developed immunity to COVID. These tests are administered mostly in labs and sometimes might require a prescription. They are 100% covered by Social Security and otherwise out of pocket costs are approximately 20 euros per test.
• Students who don’t have French Social Security have total access to testing but may need to front the cost of the test and submit to their personal health insurance after if COVID testing is covered by their insurance policy.Steps to take for testing
Precise procedures have been put in place for different case scenarios. Details can be found and downloaded here for anyone in these groups: Steps to Take to be Tested
• I don’t present any symptoms and I would like to be tested: Free test, no prescription needed, PCR results within approximately 24h, or Antigen test results in 15-30 min. • I have symptoms: specific protocol for testing to avoid contact with others during testing and until results are in. Free test, no prescription needed, PCR results within approximately 24h, Antigen results in 15-30 min • I have been in contact with a person who has tested positive: Antigen or PCR test • A specific function is available through the website & application Doctolib to locate the testing center or lab closest to you with the earliest available appointments for a test. • Students who don’t have French Social Security have total access to testing but may need to front the cost of the test and submit to their personal health insurance after if COVID testing is covered by their insurance policy.Tracking
All COVID patients must provide a local doctor with the list of people with whom they have been in touch within 48 hours of the first symptoms. Medical authorities will contact every person on that list and require testing (see above).
Anyone who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive must follow a specific protocol (Steps to Take to be Tested:)Wear a certified mask at all times when in contact with others Contact a testing center to make an appointment. Immediate testing if one lives with the COVID patient, 7days after last contact with the person if one doesn’t live with the COVID patient. Visit the testing center with a form of ID and proof of insurance Return home and stay in quarantine for until the test results (usually 24h). Anyone who tests positive for a new COVID variant (strain) must isolate for 10 days rather than the standard 7 days of quarantine for COVID positive cases. https://www.ameli.fr/assure/covid-19/isolement-principes-et-regles-respecter/isolement-principes-generaux Vaccinations
France’s vaccination strategy has been established by the HAS (Haute Autorité de Santé) who has published the order of priority populations to be vaccinated. (Vaccination Strategy & FAQ) France’s vaccination strategy follows 3 main principles:Freedom of choice: the vaccination will not be obligatory Free of charge: the vaccination will be made available for free in France (for those with French Social Security) Security: the vaccination will follow all strict guidelines that frame the use of medical products in France
Order of priority for vaccination: (Vaccination calendar, Website dedicated to vaccinations in
A revised calendar was announced on March 31: https://www.elysee.fr/emmanuel-macron/2021/03/31/adresse-aux-francais-31-mars-2021
Category eligible for vaccination:
CURRENTLY:Anyone over 55 yrs old Anyone with a very high risk for serious COVID-19 case (all ages) Anyone over 18 yrs old with at least one risk factor Pregnant women starting in 2nd trimester Medical professionals and other front-line workers over 18 yrs old
Starting May 15:Anyone over 50 yrs old
Starting June 15:Anyone over 18 yrs old
People who have been vaccinated are still required to follow all COVID-19 protocols in private and public spaces, in workplaces and in schools.RESTRICTIONS RELATED TO COVID-19 4-Step Re-opening plan: May 3 – June 30, 2021
On April 30, 2021, the government announced a 4-step plan for re-opening starting May 3. Re-opening could be temporarily paused or delayed for any region where certain sanitary conditions are not met. Re-opening is conditional upon compliance with defined capacity limits and protocols.
Step 1 : May 3The daily curfew remains in place from 7pm to 6am for all of France. An authorization form is needed after curfew. Free movement throughout France is permitted Only essential stores are open. Bars and restaurants are closed for dining in. Only take-out and delivery are open. All day-care facilities, primary schools and secondary schools re-open with heightened Covid protocol. In 15 départements where COVID rates are still high, middle schools and high schools move to hybrid model. Onsite classes at universities continue according to strict conditions and with limited occupancy. Outdoor individual sports are authorized, and outdoor sports complexes are open.
Step 2: May 19Daily curfew pushed back to 9pm Re-opening of all retail and businesses Re-opening of museums, monuments, cinemas & theatres Re-opening of open-air and indoor sporting activities as well as indoor and outdoor sporting events with spectators Re-opening of bar and restaurant for outdoor dining only (6 people maximum per table) Gatherings of more than 10 people prohibited.
Step 3: June 9Daily curfew pushed back to 11pm Re-opening of all cafés & restaurants for indoor dining (6 people maximum per table) Limited return to workspace for offices still on telework Sports, cultural venues, international trade fairs & exhibitions open up to 5,000 people Re-opening of gyms, sports halls, to include open-air contact sports and inside non-contact sports Lifting of travel restrictions for foreign visitors coming into France (with a Pass Sanitaire)
Step 4: June 30End of daily curfew Events of up to 1,000 people indoor or outdoor permitted Nightclubs remain closed Daily Curfew
At this time, there is a nation-wide stay-at-home curfew from 7pm to 6am. Any outing made during curfew hours (7pm to 6am) must fall into the below categories: • Going to and from work or school • Medical care and medical appointments that cannot be done remotely • Essential family duties including helping a vulnerable family member or caring for children • All outings necessary for disabled people and those who accompany them • For administrative or judicial appointments • Transit to take a train, plane or bus for travel • Walking a pet (maximum 1km from residence for a brief period of time)
For any justifiable outing after curfew, it is mandatory to have an authorization form found here: • Online (printable) authorization forms in English and in French • Online (digital) authorization form in French (also available via the TousAntiCovid app)Tools
o In addition to consulting the general government websites that communicate all essential information concerning the virus, the confinement and the re-opening period, everyone is asked to download the app TousAntiCovid, which serves several functions:Tracking: the app alerts users if they are inclose contact with a Covid patient Information: the app publishes the daily stats concerning the virus Testing: the app can be used to locate the nearest testing center Documentation: the app can generate a digital authorization form needed to be outside during confinement
This app which uses Bluetooth technology for tracking and does not share personal identification information. Use of the app for everyone, including COVID patients, is voluntary. (TOUS ANTI COVID Tracking App)
o The French government has put in place a 24/7 hotline (in French only) to respond to any questions concerning COVID-19 (health, regulations, workplace, social services, legal, civil, childcare and education, travel and leisure activities, etc.). A WhatsApp group managed by the government provides an additional Q&A source for anyone who wishes to join: WhatsApp with Government.
o Vaccinations: Vite Ma Dose is a service that centralizes several online portals where people can sign up for a vaccination appointment. https://vitemadose.covidtracker.fr/
o Pass Sanitaire: the app has a function that stores COVID test results and vaccination certificates which will help facilitate travel and access to certain events. (This can also be accomplished through the paper version of the Pass Sanitaire). The Pass Sanitaire functionality will be put in place at the beginning of June. https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/actualites/A14852Wearing Masks
It is required to wear a mask at all times when outside of one’s residence.( How to Wear a Mask). Only those jogging/running or riding a mechanical bicycle are exempt from wearing masks.( Information concerning different masks)Higher Education
Several official government websites give detail concerning academic and campus life during the COVID crisis.
• Ministry of Higher Education general Covid info
• Official Student Life website confinement info
• Ministry of Higher Education campus confinement details
International Students: International students continue to be welcomed into France provided they satisfy the French government’s current conditions of coming to France for participation in the second semester program with an institution of higher education. The French government has announced that international students currently in France can apply for and/or renew residency permits, online, thus avoiding the previously obligatory in person appointment at the prefecture. (Campus France Stay Permit Renewal info).
Classes: According to a January 22nd French Ministry of Higher Education circular, institutions can return to in-person instruction for all students as long as the campus is at maximum 20% total capacity and each class at maximum 50% capacity, strictly following all sanitary protocols. This is meant to ensure that all students have the equivalent of 1 day per week of face-to-face instruction. https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus/education
Studio courses & Labs: Courses in fields such as science (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.), medical/health sciences, sports sciences, fine arts (graphic arts and design, studio art, etc.) that cannot be delivered virtually are authorized to continue in-person instruction (at 50% the total occupancy of the classroom space).
Exams and entry exams: The government announced on March 31st that exams and entry exams (concours) scheduled for the month of April will take place, but conditions will be adapted to the current situation. Any exam or concours that cannot take place remotely will be rescheduled for the month of May.
Internships: Students currently enrolled in for-credit internships can continue their work remotely or in-person depending on the host company/organization’s protocol.
Libraries, computer labs and cafeterias: university libraries and computer labs can open, and cafeterias are gradually re-opening for in-person dining starting on February 8. Take-away service is still offered. See the CROUS’ interactive map for facilities by region, their services and hours. Student meals are being offered by CROUS cafeterias for 1 euro. https://www.etudiant.gouv.fr/fr/le-repas-au-crous-passe-1-euro-pour-tous-les-etudiants-2314
Administrative, Health & Social Services: university health & social services remain fully accessible (including mental health support services), with some non-essential administrative services accessible by appointment only.
Residence Halls: University housing is open but students who can easily move home are encouraged to do so. International students or those far away from home are authorized to remain in student housing.
While offices can stay open, the government reinforced the guidelines applicable to the specific work environment on April 8. Employers are called to reduce to a strict minimum the amount of time employees spend in the office, if they can work remotely. Should they have to go to the office, employees must continue to apply the national guidelines in order to limit the circulation of the highly contagious strains of COVID-19.
The guidelines state:Working remotely is strongly advised but not required. Those who can should work from home 4 days a week, and come to the office one day a week at most. https://www.gouvernement.fr/mesures-renforcees-declaration-du-premier-ministre-devant-l-assemblee-nationale Physical distancing (at least 1 meter between individuals and/or workstations, and 2 meters during coffee breaks and/or meals) Where possible, employees should bring their lunch and eat at their desks Those who dine in canteens or lunch rooms should eat alone, or sit at least 2 meters from others Obligatory mask wearing and the responsibility of the employer to provide masks. Only Category 1 cloth/fabric masks or disposable medical/surgical masks are authorized. The promotion of regular, thorough handwashing Regular mechanical or manual ventilation of the premises Routine disinfecting at least once a day of all surfaces and objects Management of the flow of people to avoid excessive crowding and crossing of individuals
Employees are instructed to stay at home should they develop Coronavirus symptoms or if they have recently been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. Obligatory temperature checks or PCR tests at the workplace are not authorized.Gatherings & Socializing
The government recommends limiting private gatherings to 6 adults (and the children of those adults) for inside and outside gatherings. Group gatherings in public spaces are also limited to 6 people. In some large cities (ex: Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux…) consuming alcohol in public is restricted to certain places and times until May 2.
The government announced progressive re-opening of sports venues and the resumption of collective sport activities as of May 19 (https://www.gouvernement.fr/les-quatre-etapes-du-deconfinement). Until then, sports and exercise are authorized, but according to the following requirements:Indoor physical education/sports can resume at schools as of May 3rd, provided gauges and protocols are respected. Individual sport (walking, running, biking, hiking, etc.) is permitted across France. Group athletic activity in public places (fitness classes, walks and hikes, etc.) must be limited to 6 people maximum per group and must maintain the physical distance of 2 meters between people. Outdoor sports equipment and sites are open and accessible: stadiums, golf, tennis, outdoor fields, equestrian centers, etc. and the practice of all these sports is allowed. https://www.sports.gouv.fr Participants are not required to wear a mask during sports. Excluded from these limitations are several groups who can continue indoor and outdoor sports (Sports Science students, professional and pre-professional athletes, those with a medical prescription for a certain activity, etc.) https://www.service-public.fr
A full list of restrictions concerning sports activities can be found here.Associated fines for not adhering to protocols
A fine of 135 euros may be applied in the event of non-compliance with COVID protocols, including wearing masks and respecting confinement. Repeat offenders can be fined up to 3,750 euros and could risk 6 months of prison, community service, drivers’ license suspension of up to 3 years maximum. (Fines for not complying with confinement)Local travel restrictions
Everyone residing in France must adhere to French regulations concerning mobility. The current situation allows and requires the following:
In FranceAnyone travelling during curfew hours on trains, flights, or intercity buses must fill out a Curfew Authorization Form. For travelers to Corsica, a declaration of honor must be completed by passengers which must be printed and signed, will be required upon boarding by the transport company. Passengers must have completed an RT-PCR or antigenic test 72 hours before departure.
In EuropeEuropean borders are open, but travelers must follow all requirements and restrictions to enter other EU countries from France. All travelers coming into France from the European Area must produce a negative COVID test from less than 72h before their travel. See case scenario #2.2 on the French government certificate of travel website. Travelers must fill out and carry with them the forms available on this website. Travelers arriving from a country of the European Area but who within the past 30 days have stayed in a country outside the European Area must follow the procedure applicable to travelers arriving from a country outside the European Area.
Pass Sanitaire: The current plan is for an electronic or paper-based “Pass Sanitaire” to be put in place early June to facilitate travel and access to certain events. https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/actualites/A14859
Details concerning mobility in and out of France can be found at this French government site: International Mobility Information in French and in English at Advice for Foreign Nationals in France . Further information is also available on the European Union website: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/FRACOVID Case Management in schools Higher Education:
This committee contacted both the Académie de Paris and the BEESP (tutelle des établissements d’enseignement supérieur privé) of the Paris rectorat and received this feedback in writing: For study abroad programs in France that are registered as Etablissements d’enseignement supérieur privé hors contrat, it is advised that you reach out to your rectorat or académie to learn what the process is for declaring positive cases of COVID within your program participants, faculty and staff. The Académie de Paris has indicated that we should declare confirmed cases by emailing the ARS at ARS-DD75email@example.com. Further information concerning the COVID crisis can be obtained by contacting the educational officials at firstname.lastname@example.org (for Ile de France).Student Support
The Ministry of Higher Education & Research has established a student mental health support website (with an English Language version) that compiles all the contacts and services related to mental health support for students during the COVID-19 crisis. The website covers all regions of France, and in addition to mental health support also serves as a resource for information about financial support, student housing, and health care. (https://www.soutien-etudiant.info/)ADDITIONAL LINKS & GENERAL RESOURCES
For information concerning every country in the European Union, and for details on all aspects of the Covid-19 crisis in Europe, see the following website: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/. And for information specifically for France: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/FRA
For current information, including health recommendations and measures, from the French government on the COVID-19 situation in France, see the following website: Main COVID-19 Government Website
Access to daily communiqués with daily statistics and key messages: Daily Communiqués by French Government
Official website dedicated to Student Life in the French universities: www.etudiant.gouv.fr
Timeline of government actions French Government Actions
Keep Calm & Stay Safe
Some information for our international students:
You are eligible for meals at 1€ from All – student life services. In order to benefit, just send a copy of your student card or high school certificate to email@example.com.
Please note that you will need to have an All Services card. Your order will not be validated immediately; you will have to wait a day!
Card purchase: https://www.all-lacatho.fr/en/content/24-the-services-card
As part of a series of seminars related to Social Pediatrics, the CEM and the FMM offer you a sharing of knowledge around the themes of "Childhood, Migration and Precarity".
This two-hour webinar will focus on the concepts and societal challenges of these current topics on January 26, 2021 from 2 to 4 pm.
More information and log-in link: www.facebook.com/events/465481881104401