PARIS, FRANCE, on October 30, 2017. The small traditional cafe on Momartr expects visitors.

Restaurants in France are now open for business, subject to certain Covid-19 restrictions.

A mask is required when you walk into the restaurant or at any time when you need to leave your table. Tables must be arranged to conform to social distancing requirements, currently one metre. When seated at your table masks are not required, however waiters and other service staff must wear masks.

In common with other public places, no more than ten people in a group are permitted to eat at a restaurant.

You may not drink or eat while standing at the bar.

Diners are rapidly getting used to these precautions so you will be able to enjoy your confit de canard and your mousse au chocolat this summer without too much inconvenience.


  1. Two questions.
    – in the UK, the government deliberately refer to face covering, rather than specify face mask. Is this the same requirement in France or does the French government specifically require a face mask?
    – does the face mask requirement in restaurants apply to all, including children of all ages?

    Many Thanks

  2. Hi Paul, good questions.

    In France, mask means any kind of fabric face mask, even ones you make at home, so it’s not necessary to use a surgical mask. The UK reference to face covering is there to distinguish between fabric masks and surgical masks.
    Regarding children, our understanding is that children over 11 should wear as mask whenever one is required.

  3. Everything slowly approaching normalcy- except I’m not allowed in!!!!!!!!!!
    My twice a year visits
    Published articles

    No more.


    • Hi Bob,

      Cloth face coverings are strongly encouraged to reduce the spread of COVID-19, as it is not known if face shields provide any benefit as source control to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles. That being said, CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings. Read more from the official CDC website here.

    • Hi Karen,

      Some restaurants and cafés will have been required to remove some of their tables to ensure that they can adhere to the social distancing rules, therefore you will find that some businesses are taking in less capacity than previously.

      I suggest checking the restaurant’s website that you would like to go to, as you should be able to book tables online but I’d highly recommend booking regardless, just to avoid any disappointment or ruined plans!

      Please also take note that some restaurants are asking clients to scan a QR-code with their smartphones to consult the menu to avoid consulting a paper one. Others offer discounts on takeaway menus.

      Have a great day and good luck.