Can we still eat or drink in transport with the new sanitary rules?

Feeling peckish in the middle of your train journey between Lille and Bordeaux? From Monday January 3, you can no longer go to the bar car to order a croque-monsieur or a chef’s jar. However, opening your gourd to quench your thirst with a sip of water should still be tolerated. Do you have trouble finding your way around? Franceinfo summarizes for you what the new health rules now apply in transport.

The sale of food and drinks is strictly prohibited

A clear rule applies from Monday January 3 until January 23 inclusive: “The sale and service for consumption on board of food and drink are prohibited during journeys within the metropolitan territory” or overseas communities, stipulates a decree published on December 31, 2021 in the Official Journal. Direct consequence: the bar cars of the TGV close their doors and the distribution of drinks and snacks cease on the planes.

Limited consumption according to the health protocols of the carriers

A vagueness persists regarding the consumption of food and drink in transport. On December 27, the Prime Minister seemed to have been clear on the subject. “The consumption of drinks and food will be prohibited in (…) public transport, including long distance”, announced Jean Castex, during a press conference.

Finally, the decree published on December 31 does not give additional details on consumption on board. Only the “sales and service” is prohibited in transport, unlike sports establishments or cinemas and theaters, where “consumption of food and drink” is strictly prohibited. However, carriers will have to directly specify what will happen to users, on the basis of a health protocol, Matignon told AFP.

In the trains, the measure is applied “with discernment”. The general rule is indeed prohibition “to remove the mask to consume food or drink” whatever the train, with the exception of Thalys and Eurostar, announced a spokesperson for SNCF. Corn “on long-distance journeys, this measure will be applied with discernment, in particular for young children and to allow them to quench their thirst”, said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport.

In urban transport, the ban on eating and drinking is strict, although the controls are difficult to enforce. The RATP, which manages public transport in Ile-de-France, plans to mobilize its 1,000 security officers on this subject and is preparing a communication campaign in the matter, according to Release.

In planes, the consumption of drinks or food is prohibited for domestic flights (from and to France). With one exception: journeys between France and overseas. For these long-haul flights, meals are always served, specifies the French overseas ministry at La 1ère.

In long-distance buses, carriers rely on the good citizenship of passengers to enforce this measure. “When the driver is driving, it’s a bit complicated to be behind each passenger”, recognizes Vincent Hays, Business Director France of Flixbus, on LCI. The latter also provides of “get the message across that there will be breaks every 2 hours or so, which will also make it possible to constitute snack breaks”.

The mask is compulsory from 6 years old in transport

Another health measure comes into force on Monday in transport: wearing a mask is now compulsory from 6 years old, according to the same decree published on Saturday in the Official Journal. This obligation, which until now concerned children from 11 years old, applies in public transport, boats, planes, and vehicles (including taxis and VTC), as well as in train stations, public transport stations and terminals, specifies the decree.

Access to these spaces and means of transport “is refused to any person who does not respect this obligation”, note the text. A wording which remains unchanged from the previous version of this decree.

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