Reader question: Do I have to leave work early during France’s 6pm curfew?

In France it's not uncommon for offices and other workplaces to stay open until 7pm, but does the 6pm curfew mean people will have to leave early?

Reader question: Do I have to leave work early during France's 6pm curfew?
Police enforcing the curfew in Paris. Photo: AFP

Question: Now that the 6pm-6am curfew is in place does that mean I have to leave work early in order to be home by 6?

On Saturday, January 16th, France tightened its curfew rules and brought in a nationwide 6pm to 6am curfew. Between those hours everyone must stay home, with only a few reasons accepted for being outside during those times. 

So does this mean everyone has to leave work early in order to be home by 6pm?

Well, it depends on where you work.

Shops and other businesses open to the public, such as hairdressers, must close by 6pm under the new rules. Restaurants are still able to offer takeout services after 6pm, but these must be for delivery only.

However businesses that are not open to the public may stay open later and offices can continue to work until their traditional closing time of 7pm – although the recommendation to work from home if possible remains in place.

READ ALSO France revises its guidelines on remote working


One of the reasons for being out during curfew is 'working or travelling to or from work' – this covers people working night shifts, but also people who are heading home from a day's work.

Crèches and other childcare facilities can also remain open after 6pm to accommodate parents who are working late.

However – if you are working or travelling home from work after 6pm you will need an attestation permission form stating your reason for being out. You can find the attestation HERE or on the TousAntiCovid app.

Public transport will continue running after 6pm; but some services are likely to be scaled down in the weeks to come as passenger numbers fall.

And obviously, doing some shopping on the way home from work will not be possible, since the shops shut at 6pm.

For more on the curfew rules, click HERE.

Member comments

  1. Hello, I am a British Citizen but I have permanent residenxt in France as I am married to a french citizen. I am currently in the UK but wish to return home to my husband. The new announcements tonight about the travel ban and urgent travel only, am I permitted to return or not? Kind regards, debbie

  2. Yes with a PCR test done within 72hrs of boarding your transport to return. Bring document copies showing residence / marriage, ideally

  3. You are also requested to quarantine at home on your return for 7 days then have another PCR test. Links between articles on this site will lead you to latest explanations of these rules ongoing. Forgot to say you have to fill put a “derogation” for your international travel inwards – do it on your phone – I would guess you come into the urgent family reasons category.

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For members


Reader question: How do you meet the requirements for a sambo visa?

In Sweden, a sambo is domestic partner – someone you’re in a relationship with and live with, but to whom you aren’t married. If you, as a non-EU citizen, are in a sambo relationship with a Swedish citizen, you can apply for a residence permit on the basis of that relationship. But meeting the requirements of that permit is not always straightforward.

Reader question: How do you meet the requirements for a sambo visa?

An American reader, whose son lives with his Swedish partner, wrote to The Local with questions about the maintenance requirement her son and his partner must meet in order to qualify for a sambo resident permit.

“Their specific issue is that they meet the requirements for a stable relationship and stable housing, but have been told that qualifying for a sambo visa based on savings is unlikely,” she wrote, asking for suggestions on how to approach this issue. Her son’s partner is a student with no income, but whose savings meet maintenance requirements. But, they have been told by lawyers that Migrationsverket will likely deny the application based on the absence of the Swedish partner’s income.

How do relationships qualify for sambo status?

In order to apply for a residence permit on the basis of a sambo relationship, you and your partner must either be living together, or plan to live together as soon as the non-Swedish partner can come to Sweden. Because this reader’s son is already in Sweden as a graduate student, he can apply for a sambo permit without having to leave the country, provided that his student permit is still valid at the time the new application is submitted.

The Migration Agency notes that “you can not receive a residence permit for the reason that you want to live with a family member in Sweden before your current permit expires”. So once your valid permit is close to expiration, you can apply for a new sambo permit.

What are the maintenance requirements for a sambo permit?

The maintenance requirements for someone applying for a sambo permit fall on the Swedish partner, who must prove that they are able to support both themselves and their partner for the duration of the permit. This includes both housing and financial requirements.

In terms of residential standards that applicants must meet, they must show that they live in a home of adequate size – for two adult applicants without children, that means at least one room with a kitchen. If rented, the lease must be for at least one year.

The financial requirements are more complicated. The Swedish partner must be able to document a stable income that can support the applicant and themselves – for a sambo couple, the 2022 standard is an income of 8,520 kronor per month. This burden falls on the Swedish partner.

While the Migration Agency’s website does say that you may “fulfil the maintenance requirement (be considered able to support yourself) if you have enough money/taxable assets to support yourself, other persons in your household and the family members who are applying for a residence permit for at least two years”, it is unclear how proof of this would be documented. On a separate page detailing the various documents that can be used to prove that maintenance requirements are met, there is nothing about how to document savings that will be used to support the couple.

Can you apply on the basis of savings instead of income?

Well, this is unclear. The Migration Agency’s website does suggest that having enough money saved up to support both members of the sambo relationship is an option, but it gives no details on how to document this. It is also unclear whether applying on the basis of savings will disadvantage applicants, with preference given to applicants who can show proof of income from work.

The Local has reached out to an immigration lawyer to answer this question.