Communication - COVID19 - 11 January 2021
Keep Calm & Stay Safe
Source : APUAF COVID-19 Committee
We encourage readers to access the links to the original sources provided in each category of information in this report.
Université Catholique de Lille will update this compilation periodically, at least once a month, for the coming months. The situation evolves quickly and continually, and as such, Université Catholique de Lille recommends that all readers verify the information provided below before making definitive decisions. This Info Sheet does not intend to interpret information provided by the French authorities, nor does it seek to advise readers. Its purpose is to simply compile information from official sources to provide a convenient resource in English for Université Catholique de Lille members and their partners.
France is accepting all international students at this time, for all students from all countries of origin, and for all types of programs including short and long term, study, internship, or research programs. All VFS Centers in the U.S. are open and accepting student visa appointments. (Campus France Student Visa FAQ)
French Consulates continue their service of delivering visas to international students for programs over 90 days
A communiqué has been published on the Campus France website: (Advice for Students Coming to France)
A guide that summarizes the steps to follow has been published on the Campus France website: (France Welcomes You Guide)
The FAQ page on Campus France’s website states the following information for students travelling to France for short term programs (under 90 days).
“Students traveling to France for programs of study of under 90 days (who may not have a visa) will need to travel with a proof of housing in France for the entirety of their program period. They should also travel with documents that prove enrollment in a higher education program in France. Campus France USA is not responsible for verifying if students are eligible for this exemption, and is not responsible for any student who is not allowed entry into France for studies of under 90 days.“ (Campus France Student Visa FAQ)
For Students coming from the USA
7 Day Quarantine
Campus France describes the conditions of the 7-day quarantine that an international student may be asked to do during their stay in France ( 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
Web-based platforms and apps such as “Doctolib” allow students to book medical appointments across the country with ease. (https://www.doctolib.fr/)
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 71.1% capacity for intensive care/reanimation beds. Statistics can be tracked here:( France COVID Dashboard.)
Access to testing
Two kinds of diagnostic COVID tests (nasal) are currently available in France to test patients for COVID. Only the PCR test should be used to test “contact cases”. Anyone who is established as a contact case should opt for a PCR test rather than an Antigen test. Also, as mentioned in the section on visas, only the PCR test is accepted for boarding to travel from the U.S. to France.
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 areapproximately 30 euros per test.
They are administered in testing centers, medical facilities and labs but also by nurses, medicalstudents, paramedics, firemen, etc. There are currently 3700 testing centers across France. (COVIDTesting Sites in France)
Who can be tested (RT-PCR)?
Anyone can benefit from a test. There is no need to even show symptoms.
The test is covered by French Social Security and these conditions apply even for people whoare not covered by French Social Security.
The health authorities could contact individuals to request mandatory testing if they have beenestablished as having been in contact with someone who has tested positive.
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, works in acertain area, 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 (for patients with French Social Security) and at airports.
100% covered by Social Security and do not require a prescription.
Who can be tested (Antigen)?
Patients with symptoms can opt for this test if they fulfill the following criteria:
Within 4 days of first symptoms
65 years old or less
No underlying conditions, meaning not susceptible to developing a serious form of Covid.
Patients without symptoms who have been asked to be tested as part of an institutional testing program such as:
In airports, especially for people coming from places with high Covid numbers
At retirement homes (for staff) & in prisons, etc.
An Immunity Test (blood test) is also 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 normaly covered 100% by Social Security; otherwise out of pocket costs are approximately 20 euros per test.
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: PCR test only
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.
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).
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: the vaccination will follow all strict guidelines that frame the use of medical products in France
Order of priority for vaccination (as of January 7): (Vaccination calendar, Website dedicated to vaccinations in
Starting 27 December 2020
Elderly who live in retirement homes
Personnel who work in retirement homes and present a risk factor themselves (age, health, etc.)
Starting 4 January 2021
3. Health care professionals over 50 years old or who present a risk factor themselves
4. Disabled people in care facilities and the people over 50 years old who care for them (if they present a risk factor)
Starting 18 January 2021 (reservations can be made starting 14 January by phone or internet)
5. People over 75 years old
Starting February/March 2021
6. People between 65 and 74 years old
Starting March/April 2021
7. People between 50 and 64 years old
8. Professionals in essential sectors (security, education, food industry)
9. People with particular vulnerabilities and the people who care for them
10. People who live in close quarters
11. The rest of the population of adults (over 18 years old)
CONFINEMENT & RE-OPENING
On 14 January 2021, the French Prime Minister announced that the curfew would be extended from 6pm - 6am throughout the entire country, for a minimum of 15 days starting 16 January.
Any outing made during curfew hours has to 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 during 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
Theater, Museum Cinemas, will remain closed until January 20th at least
No public gathering.
New update on January 20th
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)
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)
Several official government websites give detail concerning academic and campus life during confinement.
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. 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: The government has ordered all institutions to move all lectures and discussion sections to online learning platforms as of October 30th (cours magistraux and travaux dirigés). In-person instruction at universities could resume in early February, if certain sanitary conditions are met. In an October 30th circular, Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education and Research , reiterates that French institutions of higher education are not “closed”; they are just switching from an in person and/or hybrid instructional model to 100% remote instruction for the duration of the physical lockdown.
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: Upcoming exams can be maintained in an in-person setting with social distancing, though online alternatives and take-home assignments are encouraged.
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, but cafeterias are only open for take away meals (no in-person dining).
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.
The government has asked that all employees work from home 100% if possible. Offices can stay open if necessary but must continue to apply the guidelines applicable to the specific work environment.
These guidelines include, among others:
Working remotely is required unless it is not possible
Physical distancing (at least 1 meter between individuals and/or workstations)
Obligatory mask wearing and the responsibility of the employer to provide masks
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.
Info in English on how to stay healthy and safe at work can be found on the Ministry of Labor’s website. Covid-19 Measures Employers Must Take.
The government has forbidden all gatherings across the country and urges everyone to avoid all family and private gatherings in homes.
What is open
Below is a list of selected venues, services and businesses that are open during Phase 1 of the re-opening period. A full listing can be found at https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus/confinement but as of December 2, this list has not been updated to include lightened restrictions during Phase 1 of re-opening.
Public services and administrations, and all social services
All retail businesses are open with a limit on the number of customers at one time in a shop to maintainsocial distancing protocol of 8 m2 per person. Shops can stay open until 9 pm, and are allowed to beopen on Sundays (authorizations to open on Sundays are normally limited in France)
Restaurants for take-out and delivery only
Medical professionals & veterinarians
Libraries, documentation centers, media libraries
Places of worship (can hold services at limited capacity)
Outdoor sports places including stadiums, fields, courts, tracks for individual sports only
Hotels except for vacation resorts and hostels with communal living
Short term vacation rentals, car rentals
What is closed
Below is a list of venues, services and businesses that must remain closed during Phase 1 of re-opening. (https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus/confinement)
Cinemas, museums and monuments
All group meeting rooms, auditoriums, theatres, concert halls, and multi-use rooms, except court roomsand funeral homes
All indoor sports facilities except for professional sports (no fans in attendance)
Dance clubs, night clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, billiards rooms, etc.
Restaurants, cafés, bars except for managing delivery service and take-out service until 10pm in mostcases.
Trade fairs and exhibits
Thermal care facilities and spas
Camp sites, vacation resorts, tourist housing
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 under confinement
Students residing in France during confinement must adhere to French regulations concerning mobility. The current situation allows and requires the following:
Leisure outings of no more than 20km from residence
Non-leisure outings within one’s county or region (medical & administrative appointments, school, work,etc.)
International travel to return to home country or place of residence.
Details concerning mobility in and out of France can be found at this French government site: International Mobility Information as well as on the European Union website: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/FRA
COVID 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). Sports and exercise Sports and exercise are authorized, but according to the following requirements:
Once a day for 3 hours within a 20-kilometer radius of home, with an authorization form and theappropriate box checked. Beaches, parks, and forests are open.
Individual sport (walking, running, biking, hiking, etc.) is permitted but team sport is not allowed.
Outdoor sports equipment and sites are open and accessible: stadiums, golf, tennis, outdoor fields,equestrian centers, etc. https://www.sports.gouv.fr/accueil-du-site/article/application-des-decisions-sanitaires-pour-le-sport
Participants are not required to wear a mask during sports.
Excluded from these limitations are several groups (school and after school sports, Sports Sciencestudents, professional and pre-professional athletes, those with a medical prescription for a certainactivity, etc.) https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/actualites/A14436
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