AAt the peak of the omicron wave, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced easing on Thursday evening. From February 2nd, the obligation to wear masks outdoors will no longer apply. The obligation for employers to send their employees to work from home at least three days a week will also be lifted at the beginning of February.
With more than half a million new infections in the past 24 hours, France has set a new record. 525,527 people tested positive. “The omicron variant makes it easy to get infected,” Castex said. However, he expressed hope that the situation would ease up because Omicron resulted in much less severe cases.
Discotheques should be allowed to open again from mid-February. Concert organizers will then also be able to sell standing room again. The French government takes Great Britain as a model. The clinic chief at the Franco-British hospital in Paris, Jamil Rahmani, said the government was taking a big risk. “The decision to relax is political and not based on health concerns,” he said.
President Emmanuel Macron has been criticized for using an expletive to announce that he wanted to annoy the unvaccinated. The vaccination card for everyone over the age of 16 will come into force on Monday, according to the Prime Minister. However, the Constitutional Council has not yet decided whether the corresponding law is constitutional. The opposition had appealed to the Constitutional Council because they considered the vaccination certificate, which corresponds to the German 2-G rule, to be an encroachment on individual freedoms.
Children and adolescents from 12 to 17 years can receive a booster vaccination from Monday. However, this is not compulsory for under-16s. The incidence nationwide is currently more than 3,200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in one week. About 95 percent of cases are due to the omicron variant of the coronavirus. While the number of hospitalized patients continues to rise, the number of intensive care patients is gradually declining.