Vaccine pass and mask-wearing requirements will be removed from the majority of public spaces from Monday, March 14, France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced.
The vaccine pass system, which currently only allows entry to people who are fully vaccinated against Covid or who have recently recovered from the virus, will come to an end “in every place where it is applied.”
However, health pass requirements will remain in place in medical and care settings such as hospitals and care homes.
This means that it is possible to present a negative Covid test result from the last 24 hours instead of vaccination or recovery documents.
However, for staff in these establishments, obligatory vaccination rules will remain in force.
➡ ANNONCE— TF1Info (@TF1Info) March 3, 2022
️ Jean #Castex : "À partir du lundi 14 mars, fin du port du #masque obligatoire dans tous les lieux où il est encore applicable, sauf dans les transports collectifs de voyageurs"
Sur @TF1 et https://t.co/KExGVJrG2i > https://t.co/TfIhqrbs5k #Castex13h pic.twitter.com/UhnuPQjbDd
Masks will no longer be obligatory “anywhere where they are still required.” This means that they will be optional in all indoor settings, including, presumably, schools.
However, masks will still be mandatory in public transport and medical or care-related spaces such as hospitals.
The prime minister announced the changes during an interview with TF1 this afternoon (March 3).
“The situation is improving thanks to our collective efforts and the measures we have taken,” he said.
➡ Sur le #PassSanitaire— TF1Info (@TF1Info) March 3, 2022
️ Jean #Castex : "Le pass sanitaire restera aussi en vigueur dans les établissements de santé, de même que l'obligation vaccinale qui s'applique aux soignants."
Sur @TF1 et https://t.co/KExGVJrG2i > https://t.co/TfIhqrbs5k #Castex13h pic.twitter.com/A9ZQgKpCHj
Why are vaccine pass rules being relaxed now?
Health Minister Olivier Véran has previously detailed the criteria whose fulfilment would allow vaccine pass rules to be relaxed, and predicted that this would be possible from mid-March.
The three criteria outlined were:
- Having less than 1,500 Covid patients in intensive care units, “which will show us that hospitals are once again functioning normally.” There are currently 2,329 patients in intensive care.
- Having an infection rate of 300-500 cases per 100,000 people, “which will show us that we really have put the worst behind us.” France’s infection rate currently sits at 584 per 100,000.
- Having an R rate (reflecting the average number of secondary infections produced by a single infected person) of less than 1. France’s R rate is currently 0.63.
It is therefore clear that these conditions have not all been met at this point, but infection rates and hospital pressure continue to decline, suggesting that by March 14 the situation will allow for vaccine rules to be relaxed.
Over the past week the infection rate has fallen by 30%.