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HEALTH

Reader question: In lockdown areas of France, when can I walk my dog and how far can I go?

As any dog owner will tell you, walkies do not stop for a little thing like a year-long health crisis, so here are the rules on walking the dog if you live in one of the 16 areas of France now under 'lockdown light'.

Reader question: In lockdown areas of France, when can I walk my dog and how far can I go?
Fortunately you don't need a form for each dog. Photo: Bulent Kilic/AFP

Question: I live in Paris and I’m confused about the rules on dog walking – can I walk the dog at all after 7pm? And do I need a form if I’m going out during the day?

Under the more relaxed lockdown rules now in place in these 16 départements of France there are indeed new rules on dog walking, but it depends on what time of day you are going out.

6am-7pm

During the day people are allowed out of their homes for exercise – including dog-walking – for an unlimited amount of time, so you and your furry friend can head out to the park for a good long walk.

However, you must stay within 10km of home.

If you are out for any of the permitted reasons – shopping, exercise, going to an medical appointment etc – you won’t need an attestation permission form as long as you are within 10km of home. You should however have ID and something to prove your address (eg a utility bill) with you in case of a police check.

7pm – 6am

In the evening, however, the rules are different as the curfew is still in place the rules here are stricter on leaving the home. Essentially you are only allowed to leave home for one of a short list of essential reasons.

A dog-walk does count as an essential reason, but you must stay within 1km of home.

An attestation is needed if you are walking the dog after 7pm.

So in short, your pet can get a nice long run out during the day and then a quick leg-stretch and final pee in the evening. 

We try to help our members out with all aspects of living in France, so if you have a question on any topic, email us us [email protected]

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ENVIRONMENT

High pollen counts predicted in France due to heatwave

Pollen from highly allergenic ragweed plant is expected to peak earlier this year, as a result of high temperatures.

High pollen counts predicted in France due to heatwave

Ragweed pollen (ambroisie) is expected to spread earlier this year across many parts of France, particularly in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.

The National Aerobiological Surveillance Network (NASN) announced on Tuesday that the Lyon region has reached a critical threshold of ragweed pollen in the air to begin causing allergic reactions in sensitive people. The peak for the concentration of pollen in the air is expected for the end of August, which would be in approximately 20 days.

While the risk of allergic reaction is highest in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes currently, particularly in areas like northern Isère, Drôme, Ardèche and southern Rhône, the plant has spread across different regions in France. Up to 15 percent of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes could experience some level of allergic reaction from the plant, as it is highly allergenic, according to Anses.

It can also be found in Burgundy, Franche-Comté, New Aquitaine, Occitanie, as well as the north of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.

However, in contrast, ragweed is typically neither found in the Northern and Western parts of the country, nor along the Mediterranean coast.

The high pollen counts are expected approximately one week early this year due to the high temperatures seasonal temperatures.

Ragweed pollen can cause runny noses, stinging eyes and even breathing difficulties in people with an allergy, said Samuel Monnier, engineer at the NASN, to BFMTV.

If you have a ragweed allergy, consider consulting a doctor or allergist to pre-empt or treat the symptoms, recommends Monnier. Residents in regions where the pollen count is high might also consider drying clothes inside rather than outside, in order to keep the pollen from sticking to clothing. 

The plant is considered particularly invasive, and many local authorities have put into place systems to remove it when spotted.  In order to report the presence of ragweed, you can go to the website signalement-ambroisie.fr or download the smartphone application “Signalement-Ambroisie.”

If you’re sensitive to pollen, you can keep up with the interactive pollen count maps across France by going to the website www.pollens.fr/

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