Covid-19: third dose for all, inner mask, hardened health pass … These are the new measures announced by Olivier Véran

The government has announced a new round of measures to address the fifth wave of the Covid-19 epidemic. Third dose of vaccine, use of mask, health pass … Health Minister Olivier Véran listed them this Thursday at noon.

Previously, the Director General of Health, Jérôme Salomon, took stock of the epidemic, with an incidence rate of 193 per 100,000, approaching the alert threshold of 200. Every eleven days, the number of infected doubles, he said, indicating that the bar of 30,000 contaminations in 24 hours has already been reached this week. This Thursday, November 24, 2021, 8,765 people affected by Covid-19 are hospitalized, including 1,483 in intensive care.

Furthermore, forecasts indicate that the epidemic peak of this fifth wave could be reached in early December, that is, next week.

The third dose of the vaccine open to all adults.

Subsequently, the Minister of Health announced that access to the third dose of the anti-Covid vaccine is now extended to the entire adult population of the country. The time between the second and the third injection is reduced to five months, compared to six until then. These five months also work in the event that a person has been infected with Covid-19 and has been cured of it.

In this way, 25 million French people are affected, of which 6 million have already been vaccinated. They have two months to do so, the minister said.

He also said that France had all the necessary doses in the territory. All health professionals will be able to vaccinate (doctor, pharmacists, physiotherapists, nurses, etc.).

The conditions of validity of the health pass were toughened

This vaccination booster will be integrated into the health pass, starting on January 15 for young people from 18 to 64 years old (it will be starting on December 15 for those over 65 years of age). Therefore, the document will cease to be valid in the absence of a third dose on that date.

In addition to the need for a third injection for the health pass, other conditions have been added for its validity. Although a 72-hour PCR test allowed it to be presented at the bases, this duration will now be reduced to 24 hours, starting next Monday, November 29.

Therefore, those not vaccinated must be tested every day at their expense (except in the case of contact or medical prescription), to have a valid health pass.

The use of a mask is mandatory in all interior places.

Olivier Véran addressed the issue of the use of a mask, indicating that it will be mandatory in all interiors, starting on Friday, November 26, even when the health pass is requested at the entrance of an establishment (bar, restaurant, etc.). It will also be used in outdoor gatherings that can accommodate large numbers of people, such as Christmas markets.

The minister also recalled the importance of ventilating the rooms, to renew the ambient air. The use of hydroalcoholic gel, sneezing into the elbow or not shaking someone’s hand are also part of the proposed barrier measures.

However, the Minister of Health recalled that currently no confinement, curfew, closing of shops or restriction of circulation is being studied.

A new protocol in elementary schools

Starting next week, the systematic closure of primary school classes from the first positive case will end.

“Starting next week, when a student tests positive, all the students in the class are tested in turn and only the classmates who test positive stay at home,” said Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer. This device had been tested in various departments.

A new drug for people at risk

The Minister of Health took advantage of his press conference to announce that from the beginning of December an antiviral drug, Molnupiravir, will be available to fight against Covid-19. It will be a tablet, which can be prescribed by a GP and which will be available in pharmacies.

These are people at risk of severe forms, over 65 years of age or with chronic diseases. Once they show symptoms of Covid-19, they will need to swallow the tablet within five days. Olivier Véran indicated that if it is taken within this period of time, the risk of being hospitalized is reduced by two. “France will be the first European country to benefit its citizens,” he said.

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