A reaction is expected. More than 30,000 new Covid-19 contaminations have been identified in France over the past two days. This epidemic rebound has for the moment only a relatively low incidence in the hospital, but the situation could quickly deteriorate. The government is therefore working on new measures: no curfew or re-containment, as announced in Austria or the Netherlands, but rather a new call to be vaccinated, with expanded access to the booster dose, on the Israeli model. The point before the speech of the Minister of Health Olivier Véran, this Thursday, at midday.
Olivier Véran will specify to whom the booster dose, called the third dose, of anti-Covid vaccine will be opened in the coming weeks, parliamentary and government sources said. Currently, only people over 65 can receive it, as well as people at risk and caregivers. Those over 50 will have access to it from December 1 and the High Health Authority recommended last Friday that it also be extended to over 40s. From December 15, the validity of the health pass for people over 65 will be subject to a booster dose six months after the last injection.
From a government source, the executive is determined to go even further by opening it quickly to all adults, as envisaged the Scientific Council and the Vaccine Strategy Orientation Council, two advisory bodies, in recent days. According to two other parliamentary sources, the gap between the last vaccine and the booster dose would be reduced from six to five months. Each would then have two months to be injected with this third dose, otherwise the health pass will no longer be valid, says BFMTV.
In order to encourage the unvaccinated to take the plunge, the government has already introduced the health pass and then put an end to free tests. But around 6 million people eligible for vaccination have not yet received any dose in France. Olivier Véran could impose an additional constraint on them: the validity of the anti-Covid test in a health pass should be reduced from 72 hours to 24 hours.
Wearing a mask will become compulsory again in all establishments open to the public, including where the health pass is requested (restaurants, shopping centers, performance venues, museums, etc.). And also outside during mass events, such as Christmas markets. The prefects will judge according to the local situation. For the executive, it is a question of “saving the end of the year holidays”.
In addition, a strengthening of health pass controls in restaurants, cinemas and transport as well as a strengthening of screening campaigns in schools are also planned.
According to BFMTV, kindergarten or primary classes will no longer be closed from the first case detected. In such a case, all students who test negative will be able to stay in class, as the government wants to increase its testing capacity. It is thus a question of halting the spiral of class closures, the highest since the start of the school year, due to a very high incidence among 3-10 year olds.