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Covid updates: EU travel tests, child vaccines, new measures reviewed

We look at the latest Covid-related news for France as the country faces a surging fifth wave and the Omicron variant

The vaccination of five to 11-year-olds has been approved in France amid the surge in cases occasioned by the fifth wave Pic: SibRapid / Shutterstock

Vaccination of all five to 11-year-olds approved by French ethics council 

The use of the Pfizer Covid vaccine on all five to 11-year-olds (on a voluntary basis with the authorisation of parents) has been approved by France’s ethical committee Comité consultatif national d’éthique (CCNE).

The government is in favour of vaccination but was awaiting this decision.

“It is important to vaccinate children and that this vaccination is properly monitored,” said the CCNE’s Alexandra Benachi during a press conference. 

The CCNE also stipulated that parents should be allowed to choose whether or not their child is vaccinated and that the French health pass should not be extended to children in this age group. 

No Covid tests for vaccinated EU visitors to France, says President Macron

President Emmanuel Macron has said that France does not envisage introducing tests for vaccinated travellers entering the country from other EU member states. 

“We are committed to the smooth functioning of our common area,” he said, following a European Council meeting in Brussels last night (December 16). 

Unvaccinated travellers from another EU country to France already have to present a negative PCR or antigen test result from the 24 hours before their journey begins. 

Mr Macron’s comments come after countries including Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Greece have chosen to impose testing requirements on all EU visitors, even if they are fully vaccinated.

Government meeting to take place to discuss potential new measures 

A Conseil de défense sanitaire government meeting on the Covid situation is due to take place late this afternoon (December 17). 

The government will discuss the possibility of introducing new Covid restrictions to combat the fifth wave and the spread of the Omicron variant

Lockdowns, curfews and restrictions on movement are not currently on the cards. 

Government spokesperson Gabriel Attal says hospitals are under strain and has warned that there could be 4,000 Covid patients in intensive care over the Christmas holidays.

“The pressure will continue to rise in hospitals over the coming weeks,” he said. The number of people in intensive care with Covid is currently 2,800. 

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