France lifts most COVID-19 measures

Participants in a so-called 'Freedom Convoy' stand on their cars and wave flags as they are trying to block the traffic on Champs Elysee in Paris, France, 12 February 2022. [EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON]

Most COVID-19 measures have been lifted in mainland France since Wednesday, although some remain recommended. Health Minister Olivier Véran hopes to lighten the vaccine pass currently in force by mid-March.

The schedule put in place by the government in recent months provided that most health measures would end on Wednesday, and because “circulation of the virus continues but is very low today”, as Véran stated, it has been possible to respect the calendar.

The current national incidence rate is at almost 1,400 per 100,000 inhabitants but continues to fall.

This means that nightclubs, which have closed for over two months, can now reopen. Restrictions on eating food on trains and in cinemas, as well those regarding dancing and standing in bars and restaurants, have been lifted.

At the end of February, the obligation to wear masks indoors in places that require the vaccine pass will be lifted, while the number of self-tests required for school pupils that come in contact with COVID-19 will be reduced from three to one. However, at this stage, masks remain mandatory on public transport and in enclosed areas not subject to the vaccine pass.

On Wednesday morning, Véran also said that “in mid-March, we could begin to seriously consider the question of wearing masks indoors, for adults and children”.

The vaccine pass will also not be needed in as many places by the end of March. It would only still be required “in places that are very risky, such as discotheques” until the end of March or early April.

(Davide Basso | EURACTIV.fr)

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