Reinforced protocol in schools, telework recommended, closure of nightclubs and vaccination of 5-11 year olds recommended… Jean Castex announced, Monday, December 6, during a press conference in the presence of the Minister of Health Olivier Véran, a battery of measures against the fifth wave of Covid-19 without wanting to resort to provisions “Disproportionate”, like containments or gauges. The objective is to halt the progression of the epidemic which has exceeded 50,000 daily cases.
“By reducing the contamination rate by only 10%”, the hospital could avoid a new embolism, estimated the Prime Minister, ensuring that the establishment of “Gauges”, from “Curfews” or from « confinements » “Would be disproportionate” in the current state of the epidemic.
“Without vaccination, he insisted, containment measures would certainly have already been taken, which is not the case today, and the objective is that this will not be the case tomorrow either. ” He also recalled the importance of the vaccine booster which “Boosts considerably” protection, adding that on December 30 more than 15 million people will have received a booster dose in France.
Closure of nightclubs for four weeks
The Prime Minister has again decided to close nightclubs for four weeks from Friday until ” early January “.
“We do this because the virus circulates a lot among young people, even vaccinated, because wearing a mask is extremely difficult in these establishments”, he added. “We are also doing it for consistency with the general message of caution”, he stressed.
Thierry Fontaine, president of the “night” branch of the Union des trades et des industries de l’hôtellerie (UMIH), said he was “Scandalized” by this closure at the approach of the holidays, “The biggest time of the year”.
According to Bercy, the Minister Delegate in charge of SMEs, Alain Griset, is due to receive representatives of nightclubs and events on Tuesday, also affected by calls from the executive to restrict the festivities. “We will discuss with them the best way to support either the closure in the case of nightclubs, or the drop in turnover in the event business”, told Agence France-Presse the office of the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire.
The companies affected by these measures – nightclubs and caterers organizing receptions, in particular – will be “Economically supported” by the state.
Strengthening of the health protocol in primary school
Jean Castex also announced a strengthening of the health protocol in primary school. The latter will be raised to level 3 for nursery and elementary schools. This implies the wearing of the obligatory mask indoors and outdoors from the CP, the limitation of sports practiced indoors and a new organization for the time of the canteen. “In conjunction with local elected officials”, detailed Mr. Castex.
“We will maintain our policy of systematic screening of all students if there is a positive case in the class and closing the class after three positive cases”, he added. No additional measures have been announced for middle and upper secondary schools, nor for higher education.
Opening of vaccination to all children aged 5 to 11 “if possible by the end of the year”
The government also plans to open vaccination against Covid-19 “To all children” from 5 to 11 years old, “On a voluntary basis, if possible by the end of the year”. Olivier Véran specified that the government organized ” all the logistics to start immunizing children without delay ” from December 20, “Subject to final validation by the health authorities”. The High Authority for Health and the National Consultative Ethics Committee have yet to give their opinion on this issue.
For the vaccination of 360,000 children ” at risk “ likely to develop serious forms of the disease, the government has already received the green light from the High Authority for Health (HAS) and “Will start on December 15th”, said the Prime Minister.
People 65 years of age and over will be able to call back without an appointment “regardless of the center”
French people aged 65 and over will be able to get a booster dose of the Covid vaccine without an appointment, “Whatever the center” in which they are going, announced Jean Castex. In order to try to curb the circulation of the virus, we must “Keep our vaccine shield and even amplify and strengthen it”, advocated the Prime Minister.
The Minister of Health announced that the same measure would apply to unvaccinated people who decide to receive their first dose.
Call to “ease off” on social interactions
The head of government also called on the French “To ease off” regarding social interactions. “My message is very simple: until the end of the year, we put our foot down, we stop, we protect ourselves and we thus protect our ability to enjoy Christmas”, said the Prime Minister.
Concretely, it is a question of postponing the ceremonies of vows and the departure drinks in the company. Mr. Castex recommends doing the same in the private sphere.
Within companies and the public service, the government recommends two or three days of teleworking per week and wants to limit face-to-face meetings.
“If that didn’t work by way of recommendation, (…) we would have to go through that of an obligation ”, warned Jean Castex.