France national measures to combat COVID-19 consequences

France national measures to combat Covid-19 consequences

A large number of measures have been taken at the national level to combat the effects of Covid-19.

Considering the numerous texts published during this unprecedented period, we have listed them and classified them by field in order to keep you better informed.

This information is provided for information purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for legal advice. It describes the situation on the date of publication and is subject to change. 

General measures

  • State of health emergency declared for a period of 2 months from the entry into force of the emergency law of March 23, 2020 to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic (law n° 2020-290 published in the JO of March 24, 2020).

Restriction on the free movement of persons

  • Closure, from 14/03/2020 to 11/05/2020, of all places open to the public that are not essential to the life of the country, such as cinemas, bars or discotheques, and of shops except those of an essential nature such as food shops, pharmacies, banks, petrol stations or press distribution.
  • Closure of all schools from 16/03/2020 to 11/05/2020
  • Prohibition, from 14/03/2020 to 11/05/2020, of any gathering, meeting or activity involving more than 100 people simultaneously in a closed or open environment.
  • Prohibition, from 17/03/2020 to 11/05/2020, of travel by any person outside his or her home with the exception of authorised travel (professional, health, basic necessities, urgent family purchases, physical activity and animals).

Transport of goods

  • Goods flows: despite the general limitations on the circulation of persons to combat the spread of Covid-19, cross-border flows of goods are allowed to enter French territory as long as it is compatible with the protection of public health. Lorry drivers must have with them a signed form provided by the French Ministry of the Interior « Attestation de déplacement dérogatoire et justificatif de déplacement professionnel ». Checks may be carried out, at borders and elsewhere, and persons involved in transport operations are then required to present the usual documents (identity papers, certificates of carriage of goods where appropriate).
  • Medical equipment: the European Union has decided to limit exports of protective medical equipment outside European territory, to guarantee the supply of member states.
  • Authorisation system for the export from the EU of certain products: authorisation is required for the export from the EU of the following products: protective goggles and visors, face shields, oral and nasal protective equipment, protective clothing and gloves. This measure applies to all Member States for a period of 6 weeks, and came into force on 15 March 2020. Exports to European Free Trade Association countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), Overseas Countries and Territories, Faroe Islands, Andorra, San Marino and the Vatican are not subject to this authorisation.


  • Creation of a solidarity fund, for a period of 3 months from March 25, 2020
  • Mechanism for suspending payment of rent, depending on the goodwill of the lessors
  • Support measures for the catering, tourism, events, sport and culture sectors
  • Allocation by the European Central Bank of envelopes for the repurchase of public and private debts
  • Possible rescue of French companies through the acquisition of a State shareholding.
  • Payment of rents, water, gas and electricity bills relating to the business facilities of companies whose activity is affected by the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic

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Employment law

  • Partial unemployment
  • Employee and employer contributions
  • Supplementary pension contributions
  • Emergency law of March 23, 2020 to deal with the Covid epidemic-19
  • Paid leave, hours of work and rest days
  • Profit-sharing and incentives
  • Partial activity

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Tax law

  • Payment terms for tax due dates:

. possibility of benefiting from the accelerated reimbursement of tax credits (CICE, etc.)

. postponement of tax due dates with the corporate tax services (SIE) and the DGFIP

. for self-employed workers, possibility to (i) modulate the rate and the installments of withholding tax at source at any time, (ii) defer payment of installments of withholding tax on professional income

. for monthly payment contracts for payment of the CFE or property tax

  • Possibility of requesting a settlement plan to spread or defer payment of the tax debt if the company encounters payment difficulties
  • Possibility of benefiting from a remission of direct taxes (income tax, CET etc.) for companies facing more difficult situations

Banking law

  • State guarantee mechanism (through BPI France) for loans granted to non-financial companies registered in France (excluding non-trading real estate companies) by credit institutions and finance companies, from March 16, 2020 to December 31, 2020 inclusive, for a total guaranteed outstanding amount of €300 billion. This loan may represent up to 3 months of 2019 revenue, or two years of payroll for innovative companies or companies created since January 1, 2019. No repayment will be required in the first year; the company may choose to amortize the loan over a maximum period of 5 years
  • Possibility of referral to the credit mediator to reschedule bank loans
  • Possibility for BPI France customers to benefit, « upon request motivated by the context », from a rescheduling of their debt for medium and long-term loans


  • Adaptation of the rules for meetings and deliberations of the assemblies and governing bodies of legal persons and entities without legal personality under private law as a result of the Covid epidemic-19
  • Drawing up, closing, auditing, reviewing, approving and publishing the accounts and other documents and information
  • Liability Commitment for Large Companies with Cash Support Measures

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Public business law and environment

  • Recognition of COVID-19 as “force majeure” event.
  • Absence of penalties applied by the State to companies that are late on public worksites
  • Various measures for adapting the rules for the award, procedure or execution of contracts subject to the Code of Public Procurement and Public Contracts that are not covered by it during the health crisis caused by the Covid epidemic-19
  • Dispensing, during the period of a state of health emergency, with the obligation to obtain the prior opinion of the tendering committee for amendments that increase the amount of the contract by more than 5%.

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IP / IT / Data & data protection

  • Trademarks and Designs of the European Union
  • French trademarks, designs and patents (Order No. 2020-306 of March 25, 2020 on the extension of time limits during the period of public health emergency and the adaptation of procedures during the same period)
  • Personal data
  • Cookies
  • E-commerce
  • Cinema


  • Closure of all courts except for absolute emergency litigation, as of March 16, 2020
  • Extension sine die of deliberations scheduled to take place from 17 March 2020
  • Adaptation of the rules applicable to courts of law ruling in non-criminal matters (Order No. 2020-304 of March 25, 2020)
  • Extension of time limits during the period of health emergency and adaptation of procedures during the same period (Ordinance No. 2020-306 of March 25, 2020 and Ordinance No. 2020-427 of April 15, 2020 adjusting the rules set out in Ordinance No. 2020-306 of March 25, 2020 « Ordinance on Time Limits »)
  • Derogation from the principle of suspension of time limits during the period of a state of health emergency related to the Covid-19 epidemic in the field of work and employment (Decree No. 2020-471 of April 24, 2020)

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