“Yes France is experiencing a fifth wave and yes it will undoubtedly be longer and stronger than the fourth wave we experienced this summer, but there is no fatality in the face of the coronavirus and its cycles. “The Minister of Health Olivier Véran tried to reassure this Thursday the many French people assailed by a” feeling of weariness and endless daylight “during an umpteenth press conference in the company of Director General of Health, Jérôme Salomon, and the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer.
While the bar of 36,000 new positive cases in twenty-four hours was crossed on Monday – a level which corresponds to the peak reached in August -, the minister immediately ruled out announcing “a confinement, a cover – fire, early closing of stores or restriction of movement ”thanks to the high vaccination coverage which reduces the risk of developing serious forms or of being hospitalized. Here are the main announcements of his speech.
The vaccination booster for all adults from 18 years old
The High Authority for Health (HAS) had made the recommendation this Thursday morning: the government announced the opening this Saturday of the third booster dose of the anti-covid vaccine for all adults, from 18 years old, and from fifth month after the second dose. “In practice, this concerns 25 million French people, of whom six million have already received their booster, so there are still 19 million French people to date who become eligible for the booster vaccination and whom we call on to be vaccinated in the next two months”, he clarified.
Mandatory vaccination booster to validate your health pass
“As of December 15, the health pass for people over 65 will no longer be active if the reminder has not been made within seven months of infection or after the last injection. And from January 15, this health pass for all other audiences, that is to say French people aged 18 to 64, will no longer be active if the reminder has not been made within this remaining period. unchanged for seven months after the last injection, ”said Olivier Véran.
The validity of the tests for the health pass reduced to 24 hours
From November 29, the period of validity of negative Covid-19 tests entitling to the health pass for unvaccinated people will be reduced from 72 hours to 24 hours. “You will then have to be tested every day and at your expense,” said the Minister of Health, unless you are symptomatic with a prescription from your doctor or declared a contact case by health insurance “.
– Delphine Bancaud (@ bancaud1) November 25, 2021
From these announcements, the Doctolib appointment booking platform was taken by storm and its access very disrupted. The Minister of Health was however reassuring, affirming that there were “enough doses of Pfizer and Moderna”, “everyone can be vaccinated on time” he assured, recalling the vaccination was possible with all city health professionals (doctors, nurses, biological laboratories, pharmacists, physiotherapist) and in vaccination centers which were going to reopen “from this weekend”.
Return of the obligatory mask wearing indoors
As of Friday, “a decree will again make it compulsory to wear a mask everywhere indoors” in places open to the public, including places where the health pass is requested, announced Olivier Véran. “The prefects will also be empowered to make it compulsory to wear a mask for outdoor events, such as for example Christmas markets”, which will be subject to the health pass, “or flea markets”, he said.
Vaccination of children under study
France is studying the possibility of vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 against Covid-19, but in any case, this will not take place before “early 2022”, said the Minister of Health, who seized the national health authorities after the approval of Pfizer’s vaccine for 5-11 years by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The prescription of Molnupiravir, an anti-Covid pill, authorized
Olivier Véran announced that the prescription of Molnupiravir, marketed under the name Lagevrio, was now authorized after he received the green light from the European Medicines Agency. Molnupiravir, an antiviral administered orally to be taken at the first symptoms of Covid-19 to prevent a worsening of the disease, was developed by the American laboratory Merck. The Minister of Health assured “to base a lot of hope” on this pill which will be “reserved for people prone to severe forms, who are over 65 years of age and are symptomatic or have because they have chronic diseases”. “France will be the first European country to benefit its citizens,” said Olivier Véran, before ensuring that this drug, if administered in the first five days, “can reduce by two the risk of ‘to be hospitalized “.
A new health protocol in primary schools
From next week, there will no longer be a systematic closure of primary classes from the first positive case, but systematic screening, “From next week, when a student tests positive, all the students in the class are tested in their turn and only the comrades tested positive remain at home “, indicated the Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer, stressing that” 8,500 schools (were) closed yesterday (Wednesday), against 4,100 on November 19 ” .
Shortly before this press conference, the Minister of Labor Elisabeth Borne announced a strengthening of the health protocol at work to cope with the rebound of Covid-19: in terms of collective catering, “in the absence of a health pass in these places, and in the context of the resumption of the epidemic, we plan to return to a rule of two meters between each person at the table, as soon as the mask is not worn “, the ministry informed the resulting from a meeting with the social partners. As for moments of conviviality, they are “no longer recommended”.
With regard to teleworking, the government confirms that it does not plan, to date, to modify the protocol, but Minister Elisabeth Borne nevertheless invited employers “to facilitate its deployment, taking into account organizational issues. work, risks linked to the isolation of employees, or even the difficulty in respecting barrier gestures ”.