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French government to discuss possible new Covid measures tomorrow

A special cabinet meeting has been called as Covid cases rise in France, even as the health minister says we are ‘reaching the peak’

The Omicron variant has been spreading in Europe, and France could be set to take more measures to combat the strain Pic: Dan74 / Shutterstock

The French government is set to hold a cabinet meeting tomorrow (Friday, December 17) to consider whether any “new decisions” need to be made to combat the new Covid variant Omicron.

Government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said possible new measures could be introduced, in addition to other rules made recently, including the extension of booster vaccines for all adults.

The Elysée confirmed the meeting on Wednesday, December 15.

Mr Attal said that the latest figures show that currently almost 3,000 patients are in intensive care services across France, a number that is expected to rise to 4,000 by the end of the year.

Yet, Health Minister Olivier Véran said: “We have almost found a balance: we can consider that we are reaching a peak".

Despite this, cases are still high, reaching more than 50,000-60,000 per day. Elsewhere in Europe the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly, including in the UK and Denmark.

The latest figures in France (December 15) recorded 65,713 new cases, and 151 new deaths in the past 24 hours. 

Read more: Coronavirus: Daily updates on the situation in France 

As of December 14, at least 170 Omicron cases have been detected in mainland France, according to Santé publique France. France however does not routinely sequence for the variant.

Experts suggest that the new variant is more contagious than previous strains.

It comes as France has put new restrictions on UK travellers as a result of the spread of Omicron, and ministers promise to “put even more drastic” measures in place. 

78,000 new cases of Covid-19, including 10,000 of the Omicron variant, were reported by the UK government on December 15.

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