The French Health Minister, Olivier Véran, announced on Thursday new measures to contain the transmission of the coronavirus. Starting tomorrow, the use of masks will be mandatory indoors and also at events such as Christmas fairs across the country.
In a press conference, Véran also confirmed that all adults will be able to receive an additional dose of vaccine against Covid-19, within five months after the application of the initial doses. Currently, France offers booster doses only to people over 65, health workers or people with chronic illnesses that make them more vulnerable to the virus.
The minister also stated that, as of December 15, health passports for people aged 65 and over will no longer be valid if the holder has not received a booster dose within five months. As of January 15th, the same rule will apply to all adults over 18 years of age.
The French minister said that the country’s hospitals and ICUs are filling up with people who have decided not to get vaccinated, and that people need to be “constantly vigilant” and return to the protective habits they left behind. According to him, many are no longer wearing masks, especially those who are vaccinated.
Stricter Health Passport in Italy
On Wednesday, the Italian government approved a decree that, among other measures, reinforces the use of the health passport for Covid-19, preventing the presence of non-vaccinated people in entertainment activities and imposing the application of vaccine on police officers and teachers .
The main measure announced is that, between December 6 and January 15, in an attempt to avoid an increase in cases during Christmas, the health passport will only be valid for people who have been vaccinated or who have passed Covid-19.
Therefore, the certificate is no longer valid for those who only test negative for infection by the new coronavirus.
The passport will be mandatory throughout the country during this period and, starting in January, it will be requested in regions where the yellow and orange level alerts will also apply, the second and third of the four adopted by the authorities.
People who have not been vaccinated will be prevented from attending concerts, sporting events, bars, restaurants, nightclubs and public ceremonies, where proof is required.
“We want to prevent in order to conserve, to be very prudent, to avoid risks and maintain what has been achieved this year,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi said at a press conference.
Despite the announced package, the head of government assured that the epidemiological situation in the Italian territory is “under control”, despite a recent slight deterioration in indicators.
Draghi also highlighted that vaccination coverage reaches 84% of the population, with 45.5 million people over 12 years old having been immunized.
In addition, the vaccine will be mandatory from the 15th in Italy onwards for all health professionals working in institutions for the care of the elderly, as well as administrative employees of health, education, military, members of the security forces, among other corporations.
The decree was approved by the Council of Ministers and also stipulates a reinforcement of the health passport control system, which obliges the provincial authorities to create plans to verify the document.
Italy recorded, in the previous 24 hours, 12,448 more cases of infection by the new coronavirus and 85 deaths caused by Covid-19, bringing the number of victims throughout the entire pandemic to 133,415.
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