A relief for some, a risky decision for others. From Monday 14 March, health restrictions to combat the Covid-19 epidemic will be significantly relaxed. For the government, the latest scientific models and the reduced pressure on hospitals make it possible to lift most measures, some of which date back to the start of the pandemic.
Wearing a mask, vaccination pass, health protocols at work and in schools: franceinfo takes stock of what will change on Monday.
Wearing a mask is more mandatory in closed places (with some exceptions)
After being made mandatory in transport during the first opening, in May 2020, and then in all public places closed in July 2020, the mask is no longer necessary to access public places where it was still needed, such as shops and malls .commercial for example.
Please note, wearing a mouth cap is still mandatory in public transport (bus, metro, plane, train), but also in health facilities, such as hospitals and nursing homes, †in which it remains required until further notice”, specifies the government on its site†
Because the Covid-19 outbreak is far from over, it’s official otherwise “recommended” to positive people, symptomatic people, as well as healthcare professionals to continue wearing a mask† “There is always a danger, including in unvaccinated people and in vaccinated immunocompromised people,” declared on franceinfo on Sunday Professor Bruno Mégarbane, head of the intensive care unit at the Lariboisière hospital in Paris.
Vaccination pass suspended until further notice
Completed, the QR code is checked. After spilling a lot of ink and sparking an unprecedented wave of violence against elected officials, the vaccine pass bends back † at least for now. So theAccess to long-distance trains, restaurants, cafes, discotheques or even theaters and cinemas will no longer be subject to conditions.
Important clarification: the health pass – which can be activated thanks to a full vaccination schedule, a negative test of up to 24 hours or proof of recovery in the last six months – will continue to be requested to access medico-social institutions. This concerns, for example, hospitals, retirement homes and institutions for the disabled.
However, the relaxation of these measures does not change the rules regarding the vaccination obligation imposed on healthcare providers. The latter will remain in force, Prime Minister Jean Castex warned on March 3.
A new health protocol in schools
The mask also loses its mandatory character in schools. However, nothing prevents students and teachers from keeping it if they want to. This change is accompanied by a new warning protocol: all children in a class, masked or not, are now declared contact cases if one of their classmates is positive. A rule that applies to primary schools as well as to colleges and secondary schools.
From CP level to CM2,Students with contact cases no longer have to isolate themselves, but have to take a self-test on D+2. However, from the sixth through the end of the year, unvaccinated contact cases will have to isolate themselves and perform a PCR or antigen screening for seven days before returning to class. Those who have been vaccinated will remain in the classroom and will be required to take a self-test at D+2.
As for permitted activities, the new health protocol provides for the resumption of contact sports, both indoors and outdoors. Mixing between students of different levels or during meals in the canteen is allowed again.
New business rules
From Monday morning it will be possible to see the faces of your colleagues again. “We are going to resume normal business rules”, indeed, the Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne, stated on Tuesday as a guest of the LCI channel† A two-page guide to “measures to prevent the risk of contamination with Covid-19 outside an epidemic situation” should therefore replace the national company protocol. It is clear that wearing a mask is no longer part of the recommendations, the distancing rules will disappear, “as well as those used in collective catering”, said the minister.
If an employee wants to continue to wear a face mask within the walls of the company, his employer cannot forbid him to do so. Conversely, he can impose it if risks to the physical and moral health of employees are identified. Finally the possibility to telecommute itself depends on “rules laid down in corporate social dialogue”remembers Elisabeth Borne.