France announces 11 new anti-Covid measures

French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced tonight (December 27) a series of new measures to tackle the double wave of Delta and Omicron variants affecting the country.

These include the compulsory wearing of masks in all city centers, the ban on consuming food and drink on TGVs and other public transport, the limitation of major events and the strengthening of homework. .

However, there will be no curfew for New Years Eve and the return to school, scheduled for January 3, will proceed as planned.

Mr. Castex said: “The fifth wave brought by Delta is far from over… And a new wave is sweeping our continent with the Omicron variant, with 100,000 cases per day. [in France]. “

Read more: Daily updates on the Covid situation in France

He recalled that vaccines were “the decisive element” in stemming the spread of variants and protecting people from severe forms of Covid.

Health Minister Olivier Véran, also present at the press conference, said that a fourth dose of vaccination was a “possibility”.

“We work [on this] with our European counterparts, and with Israel, which was the first to start vaccinating. We are totally open to this prospect, ”he said.

“If I have to go see the French and tell them that a new dose is needed, I will,” he added.

11 key points announced by the Prime Minister:

  1. People can benefit from a Covid booster three months after their second injection (instead of four months as is currently the case). It will start from tomorrow morning (December 28)

  2. A new bill making it possible to transform the health pass into a vaccination pass must be submitted to parliament. If adopted, this would apply to restaurants, bars, museums, gymnasiums, cinemas and other shared public spaces. The pass would only be available to vaccinated people and not, as currently, also to people with a recent negative Covid test. In the event of a vote, it would apply from January 15.

  3. Increased fines for fake Covid passes

  4. Large gatherings should be limited to 2,000 people indoors and 5,000 outdoors. Standing concerts are prohibited.

  5. The consumption of food and drink should be prohibited in cinemas, in sports facilities and on public transport, such as airplanes and TGVs. This is how the mask stays in place during the ride.

  6. Eating and drinking in cafes and restaurants will only be allowed for seated customers from January 3. This will be in place for [at least] three weeks.

  7. Homework will be compulsory for anyone who can do it at least three days a week starting next Monday and will remain in place for at least three weeks. If possible, this should be extended to four days a week.

  8. Wearing a compulsory mask will apply in all city centers. The prefects will adopt the measure in consultation with the mayors.

  9. No Christmas Eve curfew.

  10. Back to school, scheduled to start Jan. 3, not postponed. No general rule for distance learning.

  11. Self-isolation period to be reduced for those who come into contact with people infected with Covid. More details will be announced by the end of this week. Currently, this can be 17 days for contact cases who live with a person who tests positive for Covid.

The press conference followed two meetings between President Emmanuel Macron and key ministers earlier today.

A decree declaring a state of health emergency must be taken for Reunion Island and must be extended to Martinique.

A final point that was not mentioned at the press conference is that all the “best wishes” meetings in January, which are traditional in France in companies, associations and often town halls, are canceled.

Another Covid ministerial meeting is due to take place on January 5.

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More cases, fewer deaths: how the 5th wave of Covid in France compares so far

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