Coronavirus in France
FAQs updated 21 March 2020

Until further notice, all Trotting, Flat and Jump race meetings have been suspended from 17 March to 15 April 2020. We are fully aware of the economic impact of cancelling race meetings. For this reason, France Galop and leTROT have put in place an information feedback system that will facilitate the communication between the various trades and the organising authorities.
For this reason, over the next number of weeks we are asking the professional associations to collect and pass on relevant information, trade by trade. This will be the first step in safeguarding our industry.
LeTrot and France Galop teams are already teleworking, and we will continue to supply information as the epidemic develops.
FLAT AND JUMP RACING – France Galop outlines support measures on 20 March 2020
⎫    From today France Galop will stop collecting the access fees to the training centres for horses stabled in the training centres at Chantilly, Deauville and Maisons-Laffitte. This measure will remain in place until at least 1 May. This also extends to regional training centres.
⎫    France Galop is granting trainers who rent their boxes a moratorium on rent payments for as long as racing is suspended.
Furthermore, France Galop’s management will shortly meet with the heads of the trainers’ associations to determine what measures should be put in place to help the most vulnerable trainers. This will be financed by funds that have accrued through penalties paid by racing professionals to France Galop.
Finally, financial contributions (such as entry fees for listed and group races, forfeits, declarations, etc.) made by racing professionals in lieu of races that have been cancelled will obviously be refunded in full.
Authorisation of travel between home and workplace
Until further notice, from 17 March and for at least two weeks, the Government has taken measures to reduce contact and travel to the strict minimum across France.
Exemptions are possible for travel between home and workplace, when the work in question cannot be carried out from home (on permanent proof) or where the travelling of professionals cannot be deferred. The daily care of horses meets the above criteria.
The derogatory travel certificate and the proof of professional travel can be written on plain paper or can be downloaded on the website of the Ministry of the Interior.
The two documents needed for travelling are:
-    Individual certificate of derogatory travel can be downloaded by clicking here or can be written on plain paper
-    Proof of professional travel can be downloaded by clicking here
All the information can be found on the website of the Ministry of the Interior on:
Information for employers and employees:
To combat the COVID-19 epidemic, the Government is reinforcing and simplifying the system for employees and businesses affected by the coronavirus.
You can also download the regularly updated and very comprehensive document of the French Ministry of Employment  Questions/réponses pour les entreprises et les salariés 
Absence from work when contaminated
If you or a family member who is working with you has been exposed to the virus, you can apply for sick leave on the dedicated website This service is open to people working in the non-salaried agricultural sector.
If this is your case, the medical consultant will prescribe a work stoppage and the MSA will pay you the Amexa daily allowance. As with employees, daily allowances are paid under the conditions applicable to sick leave and from the first day of sick leave (without application of the waiting period and without checking the conditions for entitlement).
You will find more information on work stoppage and the coronavirus on:
Sick leave for the most vulnerable
Those considered most at risk must stay at home and take sick-leave if they cannot pursue their work from home. To facilitate the process for the most vulnerable and to avoid contacting their local GPs for a fit note, they now have the possibility of obtaining sick leave directly on the MSA website and without going through their employers.
Affected employees include pregnant women and those suffering from one of the following symptoms:
•    Chronic respiratory illnesses (asthma, chronic bronchitis…)
•    Chronic respiratory insufficiencies
•    Cystic fibrosis
•    Cardiac insufficiency
•    Coronary illnesses
•    History of cerebrovascular accident
•    High blood pressure
•    Chronic renal insufficiency
•    Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes and Type 2 diabetes
•    People with immunodepression :
-    Haematological and cancerous malignancies or organ transplant patients and hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients;
-    Inflammatory and/or autoimmune diseases receiving immunosuppressive therapy;
-    HIV infections;
•    Chronic liver disease
•    Obesity having a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more.
To obtain this sick leave, the employee goes directly onto the MSA website, without contacting his or her employer, nor his or her GP.
If the employee is eligible, he or she will receive a fit note until 3 April inclusive.
In this case, Section 3 (Employer section) of the sick leave request will be returned to the employee so that he/she can give it to his/her employer.
This sick leave can be backdated to Friday, 13 March.
The employer will be informed and based on the case must produce:
•    A DSN form for those who can use payroll software or a third-party declarant
•    Contact MSA for TESA and TESA+ users
Please find all the information on sick leave and the coronavirus at:
Exemptions from charges and taxes
Companies that are struggling to pay charges and taxes as a direct result of the measures put in place to fight COVID-19, can apply for a payment delay or a direct tax rebate, in particular for the corporation tax instalment of March 16.
To facilitate the procedure, the DGFIP provides companies with a request form to be sent to their corporate tax department.
You can download the form, complete it and send it back to the corporate tax department that you depend on: click here to download
The website also mentions a direct tax rebate for companies that are threatened with disappearance due to the economic impact of COVID-19.
There is, however, currently no further information available regarding this measure.
Use of partial unemployment
To launch the procedure of partial unemployment, first you must put in place partial activity. This will allow the employer, who has no option but to place his employees into partial activity, to make an application with the territorial unit of the regional office of companies, competition, consumption, labour and employment (Direccte) for a prior authorisation for partial unemployment and to obtain compensation.
Companies where employees don’t have an official representative, must inform their employees that they are placing the company into partial activity.
Before starting partial activity, the employer has to contact the Direccte of the department where the company is based to apply online for a prior authorisation for partial activity
After entering the business identification (SIRET) number, registration is free.
The application has to include:
-    The motive justifying the recourse to partial activity
-    The foreseeable period of reduced activity
-    The number of employees concerned
The Direccte has to inform the employer within 48 hours (usually 15 days) of its decision.
The employer can follow the progress of his request online and will be notified of the decision by email.
In the absence of a notification within the time limit, the authorisation shall be considered as obtained.
A decision to refuse must be supported by reasons.
If the decision is favourable, the employer can place his employees into partial activity and start the claims for compensation online every month.
Compensated hours are those that were not worked up to the limit of the legally permitted number of working hours (35 hours per week). Hence, unemployment benefit will be paid for unworked hours, between 0 and 35 hours per week. Working hours outside the legally permitted number of working hours, will not be compensated.
In practice, this means if a company has a 39-hour work week and it goes into partial activity mode, only the hours under the 35-hour work week will be compensated under the unemployment benefit system.
MSA Employer contributions
If your next payment date is between 15 and 31 March, you can postpone all or parts of your contributions. There will be no penalties.
1st case: you pay monthly
MSA will not take any payments on your March payment date. You don’t need to take any action.
2nd case: you don’t pay monthly
The payment deadline for your next provisional instalment is postponed until further notice.
Information will be sent to you at a later date regarding the measures that are going to be implemented in April.
Will the racing offices remain open?
Just like any other company, at the request of the Government as part of the containment measures implemented on 17 March, racing offices must reduce as much as they can the workforce on site by only employing staff that is in charge of maintenance work that cannot be postponed, in particular the maintenance of the grass gallops.
Can trainers that are based at the public training centres take out their horses to train them with consideration of the safety instructions relating to COVID-19?
Yes, trainers that are permanently based at the public training centres have the right to take out their horses for minimum work but must respect the instructions of the training centre (timetables, limited access to the gallops, etc.), which will operate with reduced staff in order to guarantee a minimum maintenance of the tracks.
Safety instructions must be respected within the yards and when riding out. Trainers have to try and use their time to such an extent (where it is possible) that there are no big gatherings of horses and people, for example at the area where horses walk after having worked or before receiving the morning instructions.
As with anyone who does not show symptoms of the virus, lads and lasses don’t have to wear masks in the yard or while riding out.
Enclosed common areas (rooms, offices, etc..) must be closed.
In open common areas (platforms, headlands, etc..) safety distances have to respected.
Trainers who have their own private training facilities are not allowed to come and work their horses at public training centres, which are strictly open only to horses from stables that are part of the training centres.
Do Farriers who are self-employed have to continue working?
As things stand, like anyone doing a job esteemed to be of benefit to the public and those who want to go on working, farriers can continue to come to the training centres to carry out work that is necessary to the well-being of horses. However, they also have the right to stay away, if they believe, individually or collectively, that the risk of contamination is too great. It is hence up to the individual to decide what they want to do, unless a local or regional association establishes common rules for the entire profession.
At work and in daily life, you must comply with the recommendations of the official information sites on the coronavirus:
-    Ministry of Health (French):
-    World Health Organisation (English):
Does wearing rubber gloves prevent the infection with the new coronavirus?
No. Washing your hand regularly protects you more against COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves. The virus can be on the gloves and there is a risk of contamination if you touch your face whilst wearing the gloves. Regarding in particular people who work with horses, it is recommended that they wash hands with soap or disinfectant gel between each horse or before touching the equipment.
Can horses get the coronavirus?
The coronavirus or COVID-19 belongs to the coronavirus family which groups together the virus responsible for digestive, respiratory, hepatic or neurological diseases in different species of mammals and birds.
The coronavirus exists in pets (canine respiratory coronavirus, PIF in cats), cattle, pigs and horses.
In horses, cases have been reported since 2010 in Japan and the US and recently in Europe. These are specific viruses, that is to say different for each species. There have been no transmissions reported from horse to human.
The equine coronavirus is contagious for the equine species and is transmitted via the faecal-oral route (different for humans: oro-nasal route).
As a safety measure, in case of any signs of respiratory infection (fever or feeling of fever, coughing, breathing difficulties) or in case of contact with an infected person, you should not approach horses.
Is the coronavirus dangerous for horses?
For horses, the disease is sporadic and present in winter, from October to April:
-    Symptoms are: fever, anorexia, prostration. The digestive symptoms result in colic and diarrhoea.
-    The diagnosis is made by PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction)
-    The incubation period is short: 2 to 3 days
-    The disease is short: less than 1 week
-    Excretion and hence the risk of contagion for other horses lasts 2 to 3 weeks.
-    The treatment is symptomatic (infusions, anti-inflammatories, digestive protectors). There is no vaccine
-    Complications are possible: endotoxemia, septicaemia, hyperammonaemia associated with encephalopathies.
Can I get the virus from a horse?
To date, no transmission from horse to human has been recorded
Can I give the virus to a horse?
To date, there has been only one case of human transmission to a dog, but no case of human transmission to a horse.
There is the possibility of depositing the virus via human excretory on horsehair, but according to what is currently known, the virus can only survive in the air for three hours. As a precaution, wash your hands before and after working with the horse and before touching any other horse or equipment.
In case of any signs of respiratory infection (fever or feeling of fever, coughing, breathing difficulties) or in case of contact with an infected person, you should not approach horses.
Can horses be transported in France?
Currently and until further notice, any kind of movement in France has to be accompanied by documentary evidence provided by the Government.
See the cases authorized for movement HERE.
In any case, remember to check with the website (yard, stud or other) if movement is possible.
Can horses be transported within Europe?
Currently and until further notice, border crossings to several European countries have been stopped and rules are likely to be tightened further. The transportation of horses is therefore not recommended.
Can horses be transported to countries outside Europe?
Currently and until further notice, borders to the Schengen area (which includes 26 European countries) are closed.
Medical follow-up for covered mares
Ministry of Agriculture statement from 20 March 2020
Furthermore, on 20 March 2020, the Directorate of food and the protection of animals (Ministry of Agriculture) has specified the veterinary public health obligation in a statement that can be consulted HERE
AVEF (Veterinary Association Equine France) Statement 20 March 2020: HERE
Useful sites:
-    CNOV website :
-    AVEF website :
Reproduction (2020 breeding season)
In the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 and as a precautionary measure to reduce as much as possible contact between individuals, the equine industry has set out a specific protocol on how to receive mares at the stud.
Please consult the Protocol on receiving mares at stud HERE
This document has to be signed by the stud at the time of booking the appointment and before the mare leaves for the stud. The document has to be sent by email.
Studs must commit to respect this protocol and a copy signed by the stud manager must be retained by the person in charge of transporting the mare to the stud.
All stakeholders involved in this protocol must be in good health (not show any signs of ill health and no fever), have had no contact with infected people, nor with people at risk.
Therefore, without any official counter-order and until further notice, you can take your mare to be covered. Please remember to take the certificate of “professional activity”, which you can download here with you.
Useful sites:
FRANCE GALOP – Fédération des Eleveurs de Galop website HERE
LeTROT - See SEPT recommendations HERE
Race meeting suspension
France Galop and leTROT, together with FNCH, are working hard to put in place a coherent racing calendar for when activity resumes.
To date, race meetings are suspended until and including 15 April. Depending on the development of the pandemic and the implemented Government measures, France Galop and LeTROT will continue to inform racing professionals of the progress of the situation.
LeTROT - 31 March deadline for trotters who haven’t won the minimum qualifying prize-money that will allow them to compete after this date?
Given the cancellation of all race meetings, minimum qualifying prize-money and requalifications are postponed until further notice.
•    Racecourse access
Can I go to a racecourse?
Until further notice, race meetings in France have been suspended between 17 March 2020 and 15 April 2020.
Specific information relating to racing professionals, media, service providers and the public is available on the Coronavirus page of the France Galop and LeTROT website.
Information is regularly updated :
I have bought tickets for a France Galop or LeTROT event. How will I know if the event is taking place, is cancelled or postponed?
In order to keep you informed, France Galop and LeTROT have created a special Coronavirus page on their respective websites ( and This website is regularly updated as the situation progresses and the Government decisions are announced. We apologise for the inconvenience.
You can also find information of the program of upcoming events at the France Galop managed racecourses (ParisLongchamp, Auteuil, Chantilly, Deauville and Saint-Cloud) and the LeTROT racecourses (Paris-Vincennes, Enghien, Caen and Cabourg) on the respective websites of the organising authorities. There is also information about national events (Trophee Vert and Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf).
FRANCE GALOP- As things stand, France Galop regrettably has to inform you that the launch of “Racing on Sunday”, which was initially planned for 5 April 2020 at the ParisLongchamp and Auteuil racecourses, is for the time being postponed to 10 May 2020.
Tickets bought in advance will be valid on any Sunday race meeting during the month of May (10, 16, 17 and 24 May). To exchange your tickets, please contact 0892 97 2000 or contact
Can I still bet in betting shops in France?
From 18 March and until further notice, the 13 500 betting shops are closed. You can continue to bet on horse races that are ongoing at the PMU website. HERE
How can I collect my winnings?
As the betting shops have been closed in France, winnings can therefore not be paid out at the moment. Keep all your winning tickets until the PMU resumes its activity.
•    Useful links
Latest information from the organising authorities
•    Latest information LeTROT: here
•    Latest information France Galop: here
Information and procedures
Institutional websites
•    Site de l’OMS
Institutionnal Websites
•    Site de l’OMS