In Paris the Metro, bus and tram lines have been running a skeleton service throughout the lockdown, but this has now been increased as more people go back to work and shops and businesses reopen.
However, city authorities are very concerned that the crowded conditions will create a major risk of spreading the virus, so there are extra measures in place for anyone using the system.
Technically, the new rules don't come into force until Monday night once they are approved by the Constitutional Court, but authorities are appealing to the public's “sense of responsibility” to follow the rules on Monday as well.
Masks are compulsory on all public transport in France from May 11th, including taxis. Failing to wear a mask on public transport could net you a €135 fine. On Monday RATP staff were distributing masks to commuters in the larger stations including Gare du Nord.
An RATP employee with a hand gel dispenser. Photo: AFP
It's not compulsory to use it, but many stations now have hand sanitiser gel dispensers in place. These are now in the bigger stations, but RATP says that by June all stations will be equipped. There are also special bins in place for coronavirus-related rubbish – masks, gloves and tissues.
Bonjour la Twittosphère ?,
A partir du 11 Mai, tous les voyageurs devant nécessairement se déplacer dans les transports en commun et sur les heures de pointe 6h30-9h30 et 16h-19h devront être obligatoirement munis d’une attestation. 1/2 ⬇#TeamRATP #Covid19
— Service client RATP (@ClientsRATP) May 10, 2020
Authorities are particularly concerned about the usually crowded rush hour services and are moving to limit travel to the bare essentials. Large companies have been asked to imposed staggered shifts if possible.
At rush hour – 6.30am – 9.30am and 4pm – 7pm, transport is reserved for essential journeys only and everyone travelling needs to have a permission form (attestation) stating the reason for their journey.
This is a new form and can be downloaded HERE.
Acceptable reasons for travel during rush hour are
- Travel to and from work if your work cannot be done from home
- Travel to and from school for pupils and a parent or carer
- Travel to and from medical appointments if they cannot be made closer to home
- Travel for urgent family reasons such as providing care to a child or vulnerable adult
- Travel at the request of police or judicial authorities
Although many people are returning to work, anyone who can work from home should continue to do so during phase 1 (until June 2nd).
If your reason for travel is work, you will also need a form from your employer, stating your hours of employment and that your work cannot be done from home – find that form HERE.
Travelling without an attestation at rush hour can also earn you a €135 fine.
Although transport is running again, it is not at the same level as before the lockdown, with fewer services than before and some stations closed.
On the Metro only lines 1 and 14, which are automated, are running a 100 percent service but are only open from 6am to 10pm.
Line 13 is running 85 percent of its normal services while all other lines are running 75 percent services.
Trams are running from 6am to midnight, and are running between 80 and 90 percent of normal services, while the RER suburban trains are running from 6am to 10pm at 75 percent of normal services.
There are also 60 Metro stations closed, see graphic below.
— Service client RATP (@ClientsRATP) May 8, 2020
In order to maintain social distancing, stickers on certain seats ask people not to use them.