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Traffic jam warnings issued across France as holidaymakers drive home

People travelling in France on Saturday should brace for busy roads and traffic jams, warned the country's traffic forecaster.

Traffic jam warnings issued across France as holidaymakers drive home
The coronavirus situation has lead to more people than usual opting for the car as a means of transport this year, to avoid crowding on trains and planes and potential exposure to the virus. P

With August approaching its end and schools set to reopen on September 1st, France's main holiday season is also drawing to a close.

Many French holidaymakers will be making their way back home this weekend, causing traffic jams across the entire French mainland.

Bison Futé, the government-run site that monitors traffic levels in France, has placed the whole country on “red alert” on Saturday.

Red is the second highest level after black and signals 'very heavy' traffic.

 

Photo: Bison Futé

The return direction will however be “green”, so anyone driving away on holiday on Saturday can rejoice in normal driving conditions.

Roads are predicted to be a little less crowded on Sunday, with the entire country on “yellow” level, the third highest.

 

Traditionally a much-used means of transport for French holidaymakers, coronavirus made the car even more popular this year, with people perceiving it as a lower-risk option than trains or planes.

The French government issued a warning for people hitting the road on Saturday, reminding them to prepare their journey in advance, rest up, and ensure that the vehicle is in good condition before taking off.

They also recommend taking breaks every two hours and adapt the speed to the conditions on the road.

 

The map below shows what roads to look out for on Saturday (yellow signals “difficult” traffic, red “very difficult”).

 

For decades, August has been France's main summer holiday month, rivalled only by July. More recently, a new type of holidaymakers known as septembristes (September-makers) have appeared – probably to avoid the juilletistes and aoûtiens (those leaving in July or August).

READ ALSO: Juilletistes vs Aoûtiens: Do France's two summer holiday tribes still exist? 

 

 

 

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LIVING IN FRANCE

France to roll out ID cards app

Technology is being rolled out to allow people to carry their French ID cards in an app form - and could be rolled out to other cards, including driving licences and cartes de séjour residency cards.

France to roll out ID cards app

Holders of French carte d’identité (ID cards) will soon be able to carry certified digital versions of them on their smartphone or other electronic devices, a decree published in the Journal Officiel has confirmed.

An official app is being developed for holders of the newer credit card-format ID cards that have information stored on a chip. A provisional test version of the app is expected at the end of May.

Users will be able to use the ID card app, when it becomes available, for a range of services “from checking in at the airport to renting a car”, according to Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.

All French citizens have an ID card, which can be used for proving identity in a range of circumstances and for travel within the EU and Schengen zone – the new app will be in addition to the plastic card that holders already have.

Under the plans, after downloading the app, card holders will need merely to hold the card close to their phone to transfer the required information. According to officials, the holder then can decide what information is passed on – such as proof of age, or home address – according to the situation.

The government has not given any examples of situations in which the app would need to be used, but has set out the main principles and the ambition of the plan: to allow everyone to identify themselves and connect to certain public and private organisations, in particular those linked to the France Connect portal.

READ ALSO What is France Connect and how could it make your life simpler?

Cards will continue to be issued for the foreseeable future – this is merely an extension of the existing system.

Only French citizens have ID cards, but if successful the app is expected to be rolled out to include other cards, such as driving licences, cartes de séjour residency cards or even visas. A digital wallet is being developed at the European level – Member States have until September to agree what it could contain.

READ ALSO Eight smartphone apps that make life in France a bit easier

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