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France’s vaccine pass rules could be eased in mid-March, says minister

Restrictions surrounding face masks in indoor settings could also be relaxed around this time if infection rates continue to decline

Mask-wearing rules could be eased in indoor spaces by mid-March Pic: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

French rules regarding mask-wearing and vaccine passes could ease in mid-March if the Covid situation permits, Health Minister Olivier Véran has suggested.

Read more: Next phase of Covid rule relaxations go ahead as planned today

“If we continue with the current dynamic, we could leave this wave behind completely within a few weeks,” he told Franceinfo today (February 16).

“If the current dynamic continues, 15 days after February 28 – so in mid-March – we will be able to begin seriously considering removing face mask rules indoors, for adults and children.” 

The government would also think about gradually easing vaccine pass rules, while still maintaining the system in “places which are very high risk such as nightclubs.”

For these places, the requirement would stay in place until the end of March or the beginning of April at least.

Fifth wave coming to an end 

“Things are clearly getting better everywhere,” even though “there are still many sick patients in hospitals,” Mr Véran said.

“Our strategy of progressive relaxations based on infection rates was the right one,” he added. 

The government will only ease its Covid-related restrictions in March, however, if patient numbers decline sufficiently in hospitals and operations have stopped being postponed because of Covid pressure. 

Once there are no more than “1,000-1,500 [Covid] patients in intensive care, we will know that the virus is still circulating, but that its spread is negligible.” 

Mr Véran also compared the situation in France to that of Denmark, which “got rid of all [its restrictions] all at once, and which has an infection rate of 7,000 [per 100,000 people] and a death rate which is markedly higher than ours.”

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