More tracing and fewer isolations: this is how France fights against covid in 2022

France begins 2022 with an evolution of its methods against the coronavirus, with restrictions that increasingly advocate reconciling economic life and health: isolations are reduced and in schools classes will stop closing when there are positives.

Extreme vigilance is imposed in this January, when France expects to reach the peak of patients in hospitals and after a week in which up to a million positives have been added, with up to 200,000 new cases daily.

Given this perspective, the country has joined the decision of other nations to reduce the isolation periods in vaccinated people, who will only have to spend a quarantine of seven days when they test positive, or five if after 48 hours without symptoms they return to give negative.

Close contacts of the disease who are vaccinated will not have to be isolated – they are only recommended to take extreme precautions – but they will have to multiply the diagnoses.

On the first day, they will have to go to a pharmacy where they will undergo a free test and if it is negative they will receive two additional self-tests that they will have to do within four days.

This will be exactly the same procedure that minors will follow, including in schools from the return to the classroom this Monday.

Classes will not close automatically when there are three positives, but the children will also have to undergo the three diagnostic tests in four days to assess their status and always accredit the negative test.

"Parents will have to show in writing that the tests have been carried out and that they are negative", explained today the Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, in an interview with the newspaper Le Parisien.

For their part, unvaccinated people – more than five million, not counting those under 12 years old – must keep a quarantine of ten days if they test positive and seven if they are contact cases.

RETURN TO TELEWORKING AND END OF LARGE CLOUDS

On the France Inter station, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, declared that the delta variant "threat" the ucis with serious forms and the omicron could saturate the hospital beds due to the numerous symptomatic cases.

"In both cases, the reminder dose protects. Telework, the limitation of large concentrations and the vaccine passport are a brake", he stressed.

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Teleworking is again mandatory from today at least three days a week, although they recommend four, and companies that do not respect the rule will face fines of 1,000 euros per employee up to 50,000.

Eating standing up is prohibited in bars and restaurants, as is the intake of food and drink on public transport, including train and plane, but also in cinemas, sports stadiums and other crowds.

To curb the large concentrations of the public, the Government has limited indoor events to 2,000 people and 5,000 outdoors, although they have not yet spoken in favor of the demand from some sectors that this limitation be proportional to the size of the room.

The Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, announced this Monday after a meeting with union representatives that the State will cover 100% of the partial unemployment in the companies affected by the new restrictions that have lost at least 65% of their turnover.

The State will also assume all the fixed expenses of companies that have lost at least 50% of their income.

Starting this Monday, the National Assembly will debate the bill presented by the Government to change the current health passport for a vaccination passport, which will restrict access to museums, theaters, bars, gyms and other public places from January 15 .

It will no longer be valid to present a negative test, but it will be necessary to show a vaccination certificate and as of February 15 the schedule will not be considered complete if the reminder dose has not been set, open for all those over 12 years four months after the second.

The bill also provides for tougher penalties against the falsification of vaccination passports, which may reach a fine of 75,000 euros and up to five years in prison, while showing a passport of another person will cost a fine of 135 euros to 1,000.

Another controversial point: in case of doubt, the owners of the premises will even be able to verify the identity of the subject.

It is expected that the text will be voted by the deputies, in the hands of the macronista majority, although some groups, such as the far-right Agrupación Nacional (former National Front), have already warned that they will vote against.

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