D.he Omikron wave hit France with full force. According to Health Minister Olivier Véran, every tenth French person is a contact person, and the number is rising. In order to avoid an economic standstill and massive loss of work, the government in Paris relaxed the quarantine rules on Monday.
Fully vaccinated contacts no longer need to isolate themselves. From now on, it is sufficient that you present a negative PCR or antigen test result and test yourself every other day within six days. The self-tests should be made available free of charge by the pharmacies. Previously, contacts had to be quarantined for 17 days if a family member tested positive.
Véran stressed on Monday on the radio station France Inter that the relaxation should prevent a blockade of social and economic life. Employees should work from home three to four days a week whenever possible. The new quarantine rules are intended to ensure that schools, healthcare, energy supply and the police can continue to operate.
In the event of infection, those who have been fully vaccinated only need to be quarantined for seven days. Isolation can be shortened to five days after a negative Rapid or PCR test result. As Health Minister Véran announced, fully vaccinated doctors and nurses in hospitals with low symptoms are allowed to continue working “as much as possible” even after a positive test result. The government wants to avert the looming nursing emergency and keep the number of corona-related sick leave low.
Véran, himself a doctor, emphasized that the nurses who tested positive should not have any contact with high-risk patients. For those who are not or not fully vaccinated, there is a quarantine of ten days, which can be shortened to seven days with a negative test. Contact persons who are not or not fully vaccinated must continue to be in quarantine for seven days.
Just in time for the start of school, a new mask requirement for children from six years of age came into force on Monday. From now on, elementary school students will also have to wear masks on public transport, in restaurants and cafes. Masks are also required in all schools. Previously, children under the age of eleven were exempt. A number of large cities such as Paris and Lyon have also made it mandatory to wear a mask on the street.
The National Assembly tightened the rules for unvaccinated people on Monday. From January 15th, only those who are fully vaccinated are allowed in restaurants, cinemas, theaters, museums and sports arenas. Even on long-distance trains and domestic flights, a negative test will no longer be sufficient in the future. The 2-G rule is linked to the obligation to have a booster vaccination. The health minister announced that the question of a fourth vaccination would soon arise.
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