Lockdown still needed for vaccinated people French court rules

The argument that people who are fully vaccinated should not have to follow lockdown rules was rejected.

2 April 2021
Used vaccine syringe on a paper tray. Lockdown still needed for vaccinated people, rules French court

The court said there were still risks for vaccinated people even though vaccines give a high level of protection Pic: @matnapo / Mat Napo / Unsplash

By Joanna York

The Conseil d’Etat, France’s supreme court for administrative justice, ruled that curfew and confinement must be followed by everyone, vaccinated or not, to help stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

It said: “Even though the vaccines are effective, they do not completely eliminate the possibility that vaccinated people can become carriers of the virus.” 

The court was responding to a plea submitted by an 83-year-old man in Paris, who has received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

As such, he argued that stricter Covid-19 rules should not apply to him and others in his position, as they pose a lower risk of catching and spreading the virus.

His lawyers added that one of the main reasons for introducing confinement rules was to reduce the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals.

As the vaccine limited his risk of hospitalisation and catching or spreading the virus, they asked: “Why does he need to be confined?

“We believe in the vaccine - it works. And there is no justification for confining people who have had it.”

Virus risk still too high

But the court said the risk was still too great as the Covid-19 virus is circulating at high levels in France and new variants are emerging on which the vaccines have not been tested.

It said that, in this context, curfew and confinement measures could not be considered a “disproportionate” infringement of personal freedoms, as the man had suggested in his plea.

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