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The French Will Have to Register to Walk Around Paris During the Olympics?

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Clémence Guetté, LFI MP, added fuel to the fire by declaring on X that the French will be required to register in advance to travel around the French capital during the Olympics. It only took a few minutes for this news to echo throughout the country. However, although specific measures have been put in place, the MP's sentence is not correct.

People walking in Paris
A new rule could force Parisians to carry a QR code to walk around the city.

A controversial sentence

As the 2024 Olympics approach, many Parisians and investors see this event as a real opportunity. For example, in the context of the rental of his apartment or to benefit from any economic activity that arises from this global event. However, Clémence Guetté declared that pedestrians and cars will not be able to move freely throughout the capital during the Olympics. According to her, it is necessary to carry out prior registration in order to move freely.

As you can imagine, this sentence caused controversy among all French people, but especially among Parisians. It is important to dissect the sentence and analyze it according to the measures taken by the government. Certainly, there will indeed be traffic restrictions, but they will not apply in the same way as they were announced by the LFI MP.

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Implementation of restrictions for vehicles

During the Olympics, pedestrians and cyclists are absolutely not affected by the planned restrictions. Moreover, this information can be freely accessible by going directly to the Paris town hall website. You will find a frequently asked questions section to answer all the questions of Ile-de-France residents. Finally, additional data was published by the Paris police headquarters.

The latter has defined restriction areas concerning the circulation of motorized vehicles. The objective is then to regulate the influx of cars and trucks near the Olympic sites, that is to say in the west of Paris and in Seine-Saint-Denis. However, as it is written in black and white on the circular, cyclists and pedestrians are obviously not affected. The only exception concerns the venues in which the Olympic Games events will take place. To enter, you will need tickets, but it is a perfectly logical measure and there is absolutely nothing surprising about it.

Restrictions near Olympic venues

Parisian landlords who were considering rent their property should not be worried about the restrictions mentioned by the MP. Traffic restriction perimeters will indeed be put in place, but only around the Olympic sites. For example, you will find the Stade de France, the Eiffel Tower or even the Concorde. The blue zone is immediately identifiable with regulations for all vehicles.

In other words, motorized vehicles have the possibility of circulating, provided that they have a particular reason. This is particularly the case if you have a medical appointment, if you live in the area or if you work in this area. A red zone has also been put in place and this time it is restrictive to all motorized vehicles. The only exceptions are for specific professions such as convenience stores, funeral directors, taxis and emergency vehicles.

Olympic rings in front of the town hall
Restrictions will be put in place around areas where the Olympic Games will take place.

Is it necessary to present a QR code to travel in Paris during the 2024 Olympics?

When you need to go within the red perimeter with your vehicle, you may be checked by the police. Therefore, you must provide proof. From March, a dedicated platform will be put online and with this, you will proceed with your registration. However, the implementation of a QR code is under discussion but for the moment, there is no certainty.

Indeed, the police prefect is in discussions with the authorities concerned to monitor the rules to be applied. For the moment, a consultation period has been defined and it will extend until the first quarter of 2024.

Some additional specifics to consider

During the Olympics, specific events will take place such as the marathon and cycling. The day before each event, a perimeter will be set up, but the Paris town hall wishes to be reactive by revealing the perimeter a few days before the events take place.

Concerning the system with the different colored zones, Ile-de-France residents risk finding themselves trapped by zones which are not always easy to understand. This is why a certain worry is starting to appear. It’s a feeling that is also palpable among elected officials, as David Belliard, the mobility assistant at Paris town hall, points out. He fears a risk of confusion for Ile-de-France residents simply wishing to go to their workplace.

With hindsight, it is obvious that the words of MP Clemence Guetté have absolutely nothing to do with reality. Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to move freely, except when they wish to go to an Olympic Games venue. If this is the case, proof must be provided. Concerning motorized vehicles, it is imperative to refer to the colored zones set up by the Paris town hall.

Of course, the municipality will actively communicate about the system once it has been better defined. Normally, the first decisions should arrive after the first quarter of 2024. It is advisable for all Ile-de-France residents to keep informed of current events, otherwise they risk finding themselves in default in an area during the Olympic Games which could lead to a heavy fine. However, these are only temporary restrictions, because when the event is over, the temporary perimeters will disappear entirely.

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