The next stage of France’s Covid rule relaxations takes place today (February 28), with changes to mask-wearing, school systems and testing protocols.
It is no longer obligatory to wear a mask in places where a vaccine pass must be shown.
This means that face masks are no longer required inside cinemas, restaurants, museums or other cultural and leisure venues subject to the vaccine pass system.
However, they must still be worn in public transport, in shops, in public services and at work.
Close contacts need only take one test
From today, people who are identified as being close contacts of a Covid case need only take one test.
This test, which can be PCR, antigen or a self-administered test, should be carried out on day two after the contact is identified.
Before now, these people had to take three tests on days zero, two and four.
If a self-administered test comes back positive, an antigen or PCR test will be needed to confirm the result.
Anyone testing positive will still need to self-isolate for seven days if they are fully vaccinated or children under 12. On the fifth day, they can take an antigen or PCR test and leave isolation early if it is negative and they have not had symptoms for the last 48 hours.
If you are unvaccinated, the quarantine period is 10 days, unless you test negative on the seventh day and have not had symptoms for the last 48 hours. In that case, you may leave isolation early.
Rules relaxed in schools
As children from cities in Zone A return from their February holidays, they will find that the Covid measures applied in their school have moved from level 3 down to level 2.
This was already the case for children from Zone B when they returned last week, and will be for Zone C pupils, who will be back in the classroom next week.
This means that they may stop wearing a mask in their break times and allows more mixing between different classes in the same year group.
Masks remain obligatory, however, inside school buildings for staff and pupils over the age of six.
Like adults, children identified as close contacts need only carry out one Covid test two days after the contact is detected.