France is hit hard by a 5th wave of Covid-19. Faced with this situation, which is becoming more complicated every day, the authorities announced on Thursday the strengthening of measures to fight the pandemic.
“Yes, France is in turn experiencing a fifth wave, (…) stronger, longer than the fourth wave that occurred this summer”, warned the Minister of Health Olivier Véran, at the start of a press conference devoted to the announcement of these anti-Covid measures.
“We can pass this wave without resorting to the most restrictive tools”, he underlined, alongside in particular the Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer.
If the government official has, at this stage, ruled out any recourse to a re-containment of the population, the early closure of shops or travel restrictions, he has decreed the return of the obligation to wear a mask everywhere indoors in places open to the public, from Friday, including places where the health pass is requested (restaurants, performance venues, museums, etc.).
In addition, the vaccine booster against Covid-19, most often in the form of a third dose, which was only accessible to over 65s, will be “open to all adults from 5 months after their last injection “, From this Saturday, he added.
An opinion from the High Authority for Health (HAS) made public earlier today recommended extending the booster to all adults and reducing the time between the last dose and the booster to five months instead of six.
In addition, the validity of the health pass for fully vaccinated persons will be conditional on the administration of a booster dose. The document will be deactivated 7 months after the last dose received, in case the booster dose is not performed.
“As of January 15, the health pass for all other audiences will no longer be active if the reminder has not been made within seven months after the last injection”, announced the Minister.
In addition, the validity of the anti-Covid test for non-vaccinated people wanting to take advantage of the health pass will go from 72 hours to 24 hours.
For his part, the Minister of National Education announced the end of the automatic closure of nursery and primary classes in case of detection of contamination of a student, like what is already in force in middle school and high school. This device will come into force from next week.
“When a student tests positive, all students in the class are tested in turn and only students who test positive stay at home,” said Jean-Michel Blanquer, indicating that 8,500 classes are currently closed due to the Covid-19.