vaccine booster for all, reduced validity of tests … What Olivier Véran announced

The Minister of Health unveiled this Thursday the measures of the executive to fight against the fifth epidemic wave, and try to stem the circulation of the virus in the territory before the end of year holidays.

The return of the traditional Thursday intervention. As at the height of the epidemic crisis, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, spoke at a press conference, in the presence of Jean-Michel Blanquer (National Education), and the Director General of Health, Professor Jérôme Salomon. Together, the three men detailed the measures adopted by the executive to fight against the fifth wave of Covid-19, and try to stem the circulation of the virus in the territory before the end of the year holidays.

Read alsoCovid-19: 32,591 new cases in 24 hours, 80 dead in French hospitals

● No closures, containment or curfew envisaged at this stage

Worrisome as it is, the situation does not justify the return of the traffic restrictions applied between spring 2020 and summer 2021. Thus, no establishment closure is planned to date, nor a return of the curfew, nor a new confinement.

● Vaccination booster open to all adults this weekend, 5 months after the last dose

The High Authority for Health has given the green light. The vaccine booster will therefore be open on Saturday to all adults, as early as five months after their last dose, against six so far. This new injection will condition the holding of the health pass in mid-January.

Read alsoCovid-19: why is there a fifth wave when the vast majority of us are vaccinated?

● The health pass for all adults subject to recall from January 15

Seniors will be affected on December 15. The 18 and over will follow a month later. In line with the expansion of the public eligible for the vaccine booster, the health pass will be conditional on this new injection for all adults from January 15.

● Always paying, negative tests for unvaccinated people will be valid for 24 hours

An incentive measure. To try to encourage the most resistant to vaccination, so-called “comfort” tests will continue to pay. The validity of a negative result will be reduced to 24 hours Monday, against 72 hours so far.

Read alsoCovid-19: the number of tests exploded last week in France

● Reinforcement of sanitary pass controls in places open to the public

The condition to keep open. As announced by Emmanuel Macron at the beginning of November, a new reinforcement of the sanitary pass controls in places open to the public – in particular bars, cafes and restaurants – will be put in place.

Read alsoRestoration: Darmanin wants reinforcement of sanitary pass controls

● Systematic screening of students to limit class closures

They would be 8,500 according to the last census. As class closures have increased in recent weeks, the protocol will evolve. From now on, a systematic screening of students will take place as soon as a first case appears – which is free for minors – and only the positive will have to return home, while the negative will be able to continue to follow their courses.

Read alsoAt primary school, class closures are increasing

If it were decided, the vaccination of 5-11 year olds could begin “early 2022”

While the United States, Canada and Israel have started to vaccinate children, the European regulator has in turn approved the injection of Pfizer serum for 5-11 year olds. The executive will therefore consult the National Consultative Ethics Committee, and the High Authority for Health, before deciding on this possibility. If such a decision were made, “it would not start (however) until the beginning of the year 2022», Clarified Olivier Véran.

Read alsoCovid-19: Pfizer’s vaccine approved for children aged 5 to 11

● Wearing a mask becomes mandatory indoors, and possibly outdoors

Do not relax your efforts. Gradually made optional in certain places, the wearing of a mask will once again become compulsory in all confined spaces, including those requiring a health pass. Regarding the exterior, the prefects will be able to impose it where they deem it necessary, as on certain Christmas markets.

Read alsoCovid-19: the map of the departments which reimpose the wearing of the mask outside

● New call for strict compliance with barrier gestures, including room ventilation

This remains the most protective measures. While handshakes and hugs have become more frequent, a new call for strict compliance with barrier gestures has been launched by the authorities, who emphasize the ventilation of rooms.

Read alsoCovid-19: is the abandonment of barrier gestures the cause of the epidemic resumption?

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