- Self-isolation for fully vaccinated people who test positive will drop to 7 days.
- Mask mandates extend to children aged six and above at public venues.
- France reported 219,126 new infections on Saturday.
Paris: The Omicron variant’s rapid spread across France has prompted the government to slash Covid-19 isolation times for vaccinated people and move to further isolate the unvaccinated from public venues in a bid to ease the financial and social burdens of the outbreak. Self-isolation times for fully vaccinated people who test positive will drop from 10 days to 7 on Monday and can be cut down to 5 days with a negative test result, Health Minister Olivier Véran said on Saturday. “Unvaccinated people will have to isolate themselves for 10 days, with a possible exit after 7 days under the same conditions,” Véran said.
France reported 219,126 new infections on Saturday and became the 6th country in the world to surpass 10 million total recorded cases of Covid-19. The rule change also means contacts of positive cases will not be required to self-isolate as long as they are fully vaccinated, but they will have to test regularly, Véran said. Changes have also been made to the time period in which people should receive their booster shots. From February 15th, a booster dose will need to be taken 4 months, instead of the current 7 months, after a second dose in order to be considered fully vaccinated.
France will also see mask mandates extend to children aged six and above at public venues, like train stations, airports, markets, and movie theatres. The new rules come into place on Monday, when French lawmakers will also examine a bill that would limit the unvaccinated from accessing restaurants, bars and other public venues. Since July, a number of public venues and establishments have required a health pass for entry, demonstrating either proof of full vaccination, proof of a negative test or proof of recovery from the virus.
The vaccine pass would not be required in the workplace or essential healthcare of social services. If adopted, the new rules are expected to enter into force on January 15th. Véran emphasized the importance of getting vaccinated as he expressed hope that France’s fifth wave “may be the last.” “Omicron is so contagious that it will affect all populations of the world. It will lead to enhanced immunity; we will all be better armed afterwards. But to put the maximum chances on our side, we must continue to immunize the planet urgently, especially in countries where access to doses is more complicated,” he said.