As the numbers of the epidemic soar – there are currently more than 160,000 new cases per day – the government has taken new measures to deal with the “Omicron” wave, named after this new variant. Objective: to curb the spread of the epidemic while “maintaining the socio-economic life” of the country, in the words of Olivier Véran. Isolation, school, telecommuting … 20 Minutes gives you a little recap.
New isolation rules
This is one of the main announcements of this Sunday: the quarantine rules currently in force will be lightened to “take into account the extremely rapid evolution of the distribution of the Omicron variant”, announced in the JDD the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran. Thus, people positive for Covid-19 whose vaccination schedule is complete will have to isolate themselves for seven days. A quarantine that can be reduced to five days if they perform a PCR or antigen test which turns out to be negative and they do not show symptoms. The others will have to isolate themselves for ten days, with the possibility of leaving after seven days with a negative test.
For contact cases, the rules also change. The vaccinated will no longer have to isolate themselves, whatever the variant, but will have to carry out a PCR or antigen test immediately, then self-tests on D + 2 and D + 4. This rule also applies for schoolchildren under 12 years old. Unvaccinated people or people who have not completed their vaccination schedule should self-isolate for seven days and then be tested.
At school, a new protocol
On the eve of the start of the school year, the Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer also announced in The Parisian an evolution of the health protocol in schools. As before, all students should take an antigen or PCR test when a student in their class tests positive for coronavirus. This test, if it is negative, allows them to return to class. What is changing, however, is that families will receive two free self-tests at the pharmacy so that students can test themselves again at home on D + 2 and D + 4. Parents must then certify in writing and on the honor that the tests have been done and that they are negative.
The mask from 6 years old in some places
Another novelty announced this weekend: the mask becomes compulsory in certain places for children over 6 years old, and not 11 years old, as was the case until now. This is particularly the case with shopping centers, museums, places of worship, libraries, gymnasiums, performance or sports halls. They will also have to wear it on public transport or on planes, but also to go to restaurants or covered markets.
Three days minimum of teleworking
From this Monday, teleworking becomes compulsory three days a week in companies where it is possible. The government even recommends going to four days when feasible. The Minister of Labor indicated that reinforced controls would be carried out. Companies that do not respect this rule incur a fine of 1,000 euros per employee.
Ban on consumption while standing or in trains
From Monday, it will be impossible to drink an espresso on the zinc of the coffee. From now on, the consumption of food and drink will have to be done sitting down. Eating in theaters, sports facilities and cinemas will also be prohibited. So put away your popcorns… and your triangle sandwiches since the consumption of food or drinks will be prohibited on the trains.
The return of gauges
We had almost forgotten the gauges. From Monday, large gatherings will be limited to 2,000 people indoors and 5,000 if they take place outdoors. The following are concerned: stadiums and all sports arenas or performance halls. The only exception: political meetings are not limited even if several parties have announced their intention to set up these gauges.