Covid-19: end of the mask and vaccination pass, new protocol in business and school… everything that changes on Monday

You don’t have to grab your smartphone to show your QR code or have your face masked to go to the cinema, the theater or even the bar from this Monday. The number of daily cases could rise again (+20% in one week), the government is sticking to what was announced. “The improvement of the hospital and our high vaccination coverage lead us to continue the lifting of the measures planned for Monday,” the prime minister justified in Le Parisien on Sunday.

We take stock of everything that will change in your daily life, if you live in mainland France (the rules are a bit different in the overseas territories, for example, the health pass and the curfew at 10 p.m. have been extended in Martinique, where the epidemic is exploding ).

The vaccination pass is (almost everywhere) over

Jean Castex had spoken of “suspension” of the vaccination pass and suggested it could become relevant again if the situation requires it. But this tool will disappear this Monday. There will no longer be an obligation to be fully vaccinated (or recently infected) to go to many cultural and recreational venues: cinema, theater, football stadium, nightclub, bar, etc.

“I think lifting the vaccination pass is not a problem because it has achieved its goals by encouraging people to get vaccinated,” said epidemiologist Pascal Crepey. About 70% of 30-60 year olds and 80% of the over-60s have already received a booster dose. Many vaccinated people, among others, have recently become infected and have therefore no longer been able to stab their arms.

The only exceptions: health facilities and people with disabilities, as well as nursing homes, where the health pass (a negative test is valid) remains mandatory, except in case of medical emergency. The government wants to prevent infected and unvaccinated people from infecting others in these sensitive areas.

The most vulnerable encouraged to keep the mask

Mandatory wearing of the mask is no longer mandatory since February 28 in places subject to the vaccination pass. From next Monday this will also be the case in shops, places of worship, companies, schools, etc. In short, everywhere… except in public transport (metro, train, etc.) and health institutions. This decision “is out of date because of the epidemic recovery,” epidemiologist Antoine Flahault, like other scientists, estimates.

However, the end of the mandatory mask does not of course mean a ban on wearing it. Jean Castex also strongly recommends people who are vulnerable because of their age or their pathologies to maintain the wearing of a mask in closed places and in large gatherings. “As it stands, there is no going back to an obligation. But you should never say never, especially because there can always be a new variant,” says Matignon.

End of meters at work

“We will be able to rediscover the smiles of his colleagues”, the Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne, welcomed LCI on Tuesday 8 March. In addition to the end of the mandatory mouth cap, the social distance between colleagues and the appointments in the canteen in the company will also come to an end next Monday.

A “Covid Benchmark Guide” nevertheless lists a series of recommendations that are still in effect. Vaccination is still highly recommended and it is advisable to take hygienic measures such as ventilation of the premises and hand washing. Teleworking continues to exist in companies where an agreement has been signed between management and employee representatives. In general, two or three days a week are granted to employees who so wish.

Reduced health protocol at school

From Monday, students no longer have to wear the mask in class. Staff will no longer be called upon to limit mixing between groups, while indoor contact sports can be resumed.

The rules for contact case students will not change, after the change at the beginning of the February holiday. They must do a self-test for D+2 and then self-isolate for seven days if the result is positive. Otherwise, they may remain in the classroom despite the risk of infecting other children or young people. Self-tests are indeed less reliable than PCR or antigen tests, and being tested as a contact case just two days after reporting is no guarantee that you will be able to detect the virus.