Several more Covid restrictions in France have been relaxed today (February 16), including the easing of bans on standing concerts and on eating and drinking in certain public venues and on transport services.
It marks the next step of the government’s relaxation of rules linked to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
A first relaxation of rules took place on February 2 with the end of the requirement to wear a mask outdoors and an easing of work-from-home measures.
On February 28, rules will be further relaxed with the end of the requirement to wear masks in indoor places where a vaccine pass is demanded and a simplification of rules for those who are contact cases of people positive with Covid.
Read more about the February 28 rule changes in our articles here:
Below, we outline three Covid rule changes that come into force today.
Eating and drinking on public transport / other venues
It is from today possible again to eat and drink on public transport services, including buses, trains and domestic flights.
Rail company SNCF states that while this is again allowed, masks must be worn for the entire duration of the journey except when temporarily removing it to eat or drink.
It is also once again possible to eat and drink in cinemas, sports stadiums, and other public venues that had to ban this option.
On a similar note, it is once again possible to eat or drink while sitting or standing at the bar in bars or cafes. This option was first banned on January 3.
Nightclubs can reopen
Nightclubs are once again allowed to open, 10 weeks after first being forced to close.
A vaccine pass is required to enter. There will be no limits on the number of people, except those already imposed by non-Covid related rules.
Masks are not required to be worn inside the clubs, although they are recommended.
Elsewhere, concerts where the audience is standing are once again permitted from today.
Self-tests no longer sold in supermarkets
Finally, a change that entered into force yesterday (February 15), means that Covid self-tests can no longer be sold in supermarkets or shopping centres.
This allowance was introduced on December 29 and has been prolonged several times, but finally ended yesterday.
The tests can now only be bought in pharmacies.
The price of these tests have been lowered, the pharmacy union L’Union des syndicats de pharmaciens d’officine has stated.
Standard self-tests will be sold at €3.35, whether they are covered by health insurance or not. Previously they were sold for between €4 to €5.
Self-tests adapted for children are being sold for €4.10, compared to €5.20 before.
Some supermarkets had been selling the classic tests for much cheaper, at just over €1 a test.