France tightens Covid measures, but no curfew for New Year’s Eve

French prime minister announces narrowing the delay for a third booster shot to three months from four



People wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the Covid-19, sit on a carousel in Paris. — AP
People wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the Covid-19, sit on a carousel in Paris. — AP

By Agencies

Published: Mon 27 Dec 2021, 11:13 PM

Last updated: Mon 27 Dec 2021, 11:16 PM

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said that in response to a rapid spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, the government is narrowing the delay for a third booster shot to three months from four, but there will be no curfew for New Year’s Eve.

Castex also said that from Monday and for the next three weeks, all public gatherings will be limited to 2,000 people for indoor events, and to 5,000 people for outdoor events.

Consumption of drinks and food will be banned in long-distance transport.

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The government will soon order companies to impose at least three work-from-home days for employees in a bid to stem a fifth wave of Covid infections.

The government has also decided to make face masks mandatory outdoors in city centres, under the authority of local government representatives.

“I know that it feels like a film without ending, but a year ago we started our vaccination campaign and now we are one of the best vaccinated and best protected people in the world,” Castex told a news conference following a cabinet meeting.

Castex said that the government’s planned vaccine pass — which will require proof of vaccination, not just a negative test — will take effect from January 15, if parliament approves a draft government bill.

Castex also said that food and drink in bars and restaurants will have to be consumed seated, not standing.

Unlike other countries which have delayed the return of pupils to school, French schools will reopen as planned on January 3 Castex said.

Castex said that the Covid incidence rate — the number of infections per 100,000 people per week — is now well over 700 and at a record level since the start of the epidemic.


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