The French government has announced new rules to fight the fifth wave of the Covid epidemic, including masks becoming mandatory again in public places from November 26.
Where are masks now mandatory?
- Places that require a health pass to enter, including: cinemas, sports halls, restaurants and bars
- Interior spaces used by members of the public
Local prefects can also decide whether to make masks mandatory in outdoor spaces, such as markets, in their areas.
Lutter contre la vague épidémique, c'est aussi réadopter les bons gestes face au virus :— Olivier Véran (@olivierveran) November 25, 2021
Aérer regulierement les lieux clos.
Se laver les mains.
Le port du masque est rétabli en intérieur et dans les lieux extérieurs très fréquentés sous décision préfectorale. pic.twitter.com/YJV7E3nlG1
Other measures put in place include opening the booster jab to everyone 18 or over, and requiring non-vaccinated people to have a PCR test result from within the past 24 hours in order to use a health pass.
Health Minister Olivier Véran revealed the new rules at a press conference yesterday (November 25).
He said that booster jabs will gradually become a compulsory part of all adult health passes. From January 15, any adult who has not received their booster seven months after their final dose will see their pass expire.
This gives people two months after they become eligible for the booster to go for their extra injection.
France’s TousAntiCovid health pass app will also be adapted to include an alert system warning someone when they are reaching their booster dose deadline.
‘Freedom with responsibility’
While Mr Véran announced the new booster plan and the need for people to wear masks, he also said: “I am announcing neither a lockdown, nor a curfew, nor business closures nor limitations on movement.
“We are choosing to combine freedom with responsibility. We believe at the moment that we can get through this wave without having to resort to more restrictive measures, if we use the cards we have in hand effectively.”
It comes as a new study by l’Institut Pasteur found that barrier measures such as physical distancing and wearing masks still contribute to lower infection numbers, as does the proper ventilation of spaces.
Professor Fontanet, epidemiologist and lead researcher on the study, said: “This shows how important it is to keep all measures in place...such as providing ventilation and wearing masks.”