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The five dates in France’s new plan to ease Covid rules

Measures to relax restrictions will start on February 2 and will be introduced in stages

A woman wearing a mask in France

Covid restrictions will be eased in France in February after the vaccine pass is rolled out (following approval by the constitutional court) Pic: Bogdanovich_Alexander / Shutterstock

Here are the five dates related to the easing of Covid rules in France as announced by the prime minister Jean Castex and health minister Olivier Véran tonight (January 20).

Read more: France to begin lifting Covid restrictions in February: The key points

Friday, January 21:

France’s constitutional court to rule if the vaccine pass, as proposed, fits with the constitution and can be rolled out

Monday, January 24:

Covid vaccine pass to come into effect, subject to approval by the constitutional court (as above).

The vaccine pass will apply to everyone aged 16 and over in relation to leisure-oriented public spaces where a health pass is currently required, for example, restaurants, cinemas and bars as well as long-distance travel, including TGVs.
It will not be required to enter hospitals, nursing homes or other healthcare facilities - (a negative Covid test, valid for 24 hours, could be used for this).

Booster shots are to open for all aged 12 to 17 years old.

Wednesday, February 2: 

  • Masks will no longer be mandatory outside
  • Remote working will cease to be mandatory, although it will remain recommended
  • The crowd limit at sports and cultural events will be lifted when the audience is seated (however masks must be worn in these events). Current crowd limits are set at  2,000 people indoors, 5,000 people outdoors

Tuesday, February 15: 

People who receive their first vaccine dose by February 15 can get a vaccine pass immediately, if they also get a negative Covid test (which will remain valid for 24 hours), and commit to getting a second dose within one month.

The deadline for receiving a booster after a second vaccine dose will shorten to four months from seven months. Booster shots are available three months after the second dose.

Wednesday, February 16

  • Nightclubs will reopen. The government has not yet decided if masks must be worn in nightclubs when they reopen. The health situation at the time will dictate the exact rules for this and for entry to the clubs.
  • Standing concerts will be allowed again
  • The consumption of alcohol while standing in bars will be authorised again
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