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Covid-19: the rules for wearing a mask and the vaccine pass have been simplified


VS’is a real turning point in the evolution of the Covid-19 epidemic in France. From this Monday, March 14, most of the health restrictions are lifted against a background of a call for caution in the face of the “rebound” of the epidemic. It will therefore be possible from today to access cinemas, theatres, restaurants, fairs… without justifying a vaccination pass or even to walk with your face uncovered in the corridors of schools and the shelves of shops.

However, there is no question of the end of the mask, which remains compulsory in transport and in health establishments. Companies can always decide to impose it on their employees and the Ministry of Education “strongly” recommends it to contact cases “indoors for seven days after the occurrence of the confirmed case”. For its part, the “health” pass, which also works with a negative test for the virus, is maintained in health establishments and nursing homes.

If, at the beginning of March, when these relief measures were announced by the government, the strong and long fifth wave of the epidemic was clearly coming down again, this is no longer the case. In recent days, the number of new positive cases has even started to rise again: the average for the last seven days was more than 65,250 on Sunday, compared to 50,646 a week earlier. This trend reversal has so far had no effect in critical care services, even if an increase in the number of hospitalizations was recorded on Sunday.

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Covid-19 in France: towards a further increase in the number of cases?

Despite the rise in cases, Jean Castex rules out a change in strategy

“We still have to wait a little bit to see if this trend is confirmed but indeed, at European level, we see the same thing”, indicated Sunday on France Inter Yazdan Yazdanpanah, head of the infectious diseases department at the Bichat hospital in Paris. This member of the scientific council sees “three reasons” for this: the presence of the BA2 sub-variant, “a little more transmissible”, the “reopening of schools” after the holidays and “probably a relaxation of the population, which is quite normal” .

Conceding that there is currently a “resumption of cases”, Jean Castex however excluded, on Saturday, from “changing strategy”. “For two years, there have always been risks and benefits in what we do. We are not in a situation of total certainty”, explained Yazdan Yazdanpanah, recalling that, this time, “80% of people” are vaccinated and that “a significant proportion of the population has already been affected by the infections”. “That immunity, probably, protects us. At least in terms of hospitalizations. »

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In fact, in its most pessimistic scenarios, the Institut Pasteur estimates that the peak of contamination “could exceed 100,000 daily cases in March”, a high figure but “very much lower than the peak in January”, according to new models published Thursday. . If, after two years of pandemic, the end of restrictions promises to be welcomed with relief by many French people, scientists call for precautions, vis-à-vis, for example, immunocompromised people.

Covid: the time for individual responsibility has come

A political consensus

“It is too early to turn the Covid page, even if we really want to! We must remain vigilant, ”urged Rémi Salomon, president of the establishment committee of the AP-HP (Paris hospitals), on Twitter on Tuesday. The government has also decided to open “from now on the fourth dose to people over 80” and “strongly recommends to people who are fragile because of their age or their pathologies to maintain the wearing of a mask in closed places and in large gatherings.

Covid-19: tester, a profession of the future?

In the political world, the return to normal is widely agreed upon. No opponent of Emmanuel Macron, on the left or on the right, considered the easing of the measures too rapid, in a context mainly dominated by the war in Ukraine and its economic and social consequences.

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