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French ban on boating.

Toutvabien

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17 Sep 2002
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East London
I have just received an email from our marina in La Rochelle informing us of a ban on boating in France to be enforced by the Maritime and Nautical Brigade of the National Gendarmarie.

We were out on the boat this week in La Rochelle and, in anticipation of Macron's speach on Mondy, had to leave in a hurry to get to Calais for a 2:30am ferry home.
 

webcraft

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.
Looks like the justification is that boating activities are a potential drain on the emergency services.

I can see the same thing happening here with the same justification.

- W
 

Grehan

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Inland France + Oxon.
Whatever the situation at a coastal port like Boulogne, the inland waterways (rivers and canals) remain closed to pleasure use, currently until May 29th. Everyone is hoping that that re-opening will happen then.
 

Mistroma

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Currently in Scotland, boat in Greece (Ionian)
Well have a look at my video and you will see that is not always the case.... Sailing Gently The French can be pragmatic.. Just like UK all waterways and ports are closed except...
I'm afraid that I didn't have time to watch the video tonight. It appears to be about sailing in Boulogne sur mer in early to mid-March. Are you saying that you were referring to a recent sail in past 1-2 days? Did you have problems returning to France? I have relatives waiting to return as soon as they are able.

Grehan specifically highlights inland waterways, surely Boulogne sur mer is a coastal harbour.

Pragmatic is fine until they decide not to be pragmatic.:D
 

Sea Devil

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Boulogne sur mer & Marbella Spain
Yes, it is about entering France in my boat Golden Haze a few weeks ago, when all the ports were closed to foreign flagged private vessels, as are the waterways. I came in and out of France twice during the lock down period as is explained in the two videos. Do have a look Sailing Gently
You will be interested to know that I am currently making a video about the French Canals based on my best selling (over 2700 copies) book French Canal Routes to the Mediterranean.
 

Grehan

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Inland France + Oxon.
Things are changing but this is the latest as of last week, taken from various dependable sources (with my italics and bulleting) -

French president Emmanuel Macron has declared that the country will start to reopen from May 11th. The definitive plan still needs to be debated by the French parliament, but here's what we know at the moment.

  • France has been in lockdown since March 17th, with people only allowed out of their homes for essential reasons such as shopping and everyone needing a signed, dated and timed attestation every time they leave the house.
  • France, along with the rest of the EU, has closed its borders to travel from outside the EU (excluding the UK) and this will continue after May 11th.
  • France has recently brought in strict border controls in which anyone travelling from inside Europe (including the UK) needs to present a travel certificate and non-French citizens are only allowed into the country if they are permanent residents or their journey meets strict criteria of essential travel.
  • Anyone who wants to travel within France already need to have a signed, timed and dated "attestation" with them, but now these will be required to enter the country as well. The Attestation de déplacement internationale (international travel certificate) [link] Coronavirus - Covid-19 : transports vers la France gives strict definitions of who is allowed into France during lockdown.
The form must be presented at the border, and also before boarding a ferry, train or plane heading to France. French citizens and their children are allowed back into the country, but foreigners are only allowed in under certain circumstances.

These are
  • People who have their primary residence in France. This does NOT include second home owners. Third country nationals will need to present a visa or residency card while EU nationals (which for this purpose still includes British people) do not need any proof of residency status.
  • People who have their permanent residency in another European country and are travelling through France to get home
  • Healthcare workers engaged in coronavirus-related care
  • Commercial good carriers such as lorry drivers and flight or cargo crews
  • Diplomatic staff
  • Cross-border workers. So for example if you live in France but work in Switzerland you will still be able to travel back and forth.
  • Both French and British authorities have already made it clear that travel to second homes in France does not count as 'essential travel' under the lockdown rules.
The French Interior Ministry said: "French or British people are not allowed to travel to their second homes during the lockdown period."

So far as inland waterways travel is concerned the VNF has issued a useful FAQ paper - [link] https://www.vnf.fr/vnf/app/uploads/2020/04/FAQ_VignettesCriseCOVID19_PRIVESV2.pdf
Inter alia in that guide -
  • 7 / On what date will pleasure boating be able to resume?
The reopening of the network, in particular of small size, to tourist and pleasure navigation is rescheduled from May 29, if the deconfinement period begins on May 11. VNF makes every effort to target this date which includes the time required for the teams to prepare to return to operation before the reopening of this network of inland waterways. Certain sectors could occasionally and locally require a longer return to service period.​

More detail here -
ALERTE COVID-19 : Mesures exceptionnelles mises en place sur le réseau VNF - VNF
 

Roberto

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Lorient/Paris
Congrats Grehan, very comprehensive summary, interesting to see how these measures are to be lived through by non French nationals.
 

Grehan

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Inland France + Oxon.
I think . . that this relates to French citizens being able to get about without the attestation requirement. If and when things do relax after 11th May, dependent on the infection rate remaining on a downward slope. I haven't seen reports of a change to 'foreigner' (EU or non-EU) travel into France. But very happy to be advised otherwise.
 

Grehan

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Inland France + Oxon.
From one the main About France in English news sources -

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced the government’s plan for deconfinement from May 11 to Parliament on Tuesday. He spoke for an hour and outlined a number of key areas on transport, masks, tests, travel, and the possibility of a change of plan if the evolution of the Covid-19 virus does not follow its expected path.

This first de-confinement period will last from May 11 – June 2.

Two key points, amongst others -
  • There will be local differences. Departments will be labelled either green or red depending on the degree to which it is judged that the virus is active, the capacity of hospitals to receive patients and the readiness of the local system to administer tests for the virus. These will be studied on May 7. Red departments will have stricter de-confinement measures than green departments.
  • From May 11, confinement forms (i.e certificates, attestations) will no longer be necessary for travelling close to home but journeys of over 100 kilometres will only be authorised for "urgent family or for professional reasons".
Nothing specific in that announcement, about 'international' access arrangements.
 

Koeketiene

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24 Sep 2003
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Finistère
Things are looking good for May 11th.
There will be some restrictions in marinas, but we should be able to go to sea again.
If you keep your boat on a swinging mooring (like I do) life should be pretty much back to normal.
Spoke to my HM earlier today, and according to him once sailing can be resumed, access to the marina will be limited to local boats only.

Pourra-t-on renaviguer le 11 mai 2020 ? Les indicateurs semblent au vert
 
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