Covid France: new sanitary measures, Covars, mask

CORONAVIRUS FRANCE. The 8th wave is still circulating this fall in France. If a return to drastic measures is not currently planned, wearing a mask is again recommended where there are people, transport for example. The Covars has just issued its recommendations.

[Updated October 25, 2022 at 12:12 p.m.] The incidence rate is falling slightly in France, despite the 8th epidemic wave which continues. Among all the people tested, more than a quarter of them are positive (Public Health France). ' This is a new call for vigilance , wearing a mask when you are in a difficult situation or potentially exposed to the risk of contamination, to get tested. You must not let go ', insists Olivier Véran, spokesperson for the government at the end of the Council of Ministers of October 12. Brigitte Autran, president of the new Committee for monitoring and anticipating health risks (Covars), which replaced the Scientific Council, on FranceInfo also insists that ' We really need start wearing the mask again in transport '. She even assured that the committee was 'studying' the possibility of making it again mandatory in some spaces . ' All European countries, the United States and North America are also studying this point. Today, no one has reintroduced the obligation of the mask, but everyone is studying it', she says about RMC October 4. To date, the mask is compulsory in certain hospitals, laboratories or pharmacies. Bivalent vaccines, targeted to the variant Omicron , arrived on Monday, October 3 in pharmacies.

What are the anti-Covid measures in the face of the 8th wave?

► Measures that persist or are in force:

  • Screening people cas contacts and/or showing symptoms Covid.
  • Isolation for positive people au Covid.
  • Sanitary certificate of travel. The government can request a negative screening test on boarding towards French territory and for overseas travel. This border test may be required until March 31, 2023 for persons over 12 years of age before boarding for French territory in the event of the appearance of a dangerous variant in a country, or in the event of a dangerous variant, it may apply to travelers from overseas territories, or to these regions in the event of a risk of saturation of the local hospital system.
  • Prolonged epidemic follow-up. Epidemic monitoring tools remain in place: SI-DEP , the national screening information system which centralizes all test results, is extended until June 30, 2023, and Contact Covid, which provides follow-up and support for infected people and their contact cases, is extended until January 31, 2023.

What are the new Covars recommendations?

The Covars issued its recommendations to deal with the 8th epidemic wave in France. Several physical means of prevention must be used in a joint and complementary way, he warns.

Wearing a mask: wearing a mask in the community was associated with a 14% reduction in the risk of infection. It is therefore essential to consolidate in the population a culture of prevention and attention to the most vulnerable. In France, it is currently not mandatory but strongly recommended. At European level, Germany has made the port of the mandatory mask on public transport and is considering extending the list of places of obligation.

Air quality control + renewal , in closed places, especially in schools. It is therefore advisable to ventilate regularly by opening the windows. Also, CO2 sensors must also be deployed without delay in all classrooms at school and university, as well as in meeting rooms, canteens, collective offices. Clear messages should be given to families about the need to ventilate rooms at home regularly.

Screening. Maintain simple and easy access to PCR or antigen tests performed in pharmacies or laboratories

Treat, especially with Paxlovid.

What are the measures for wearing a mask?

To date, wearing a mask is no longer compulsory in France, except in certain hospitals, laboratories or pharmacies. But to limit the spread of the 8th wave of Covid, wearing a mask is again encouraged in transport , insisted Brigitte Autran, president of the new Committee for monitoring and anticipating health risks (Covars) Friday, September 30 on franceinfo. ' It has to become some kind of civic gesture '. The compulsory mask in certain places is also 'under study', she said.

To date, wearing a mask is strongly recommended :

  • in closed and crowded places and public transport (metro, train, bus, plane, etc.);
  • in large gatherings, including outdoors, for people who are fragile due to their age or their pathologies;
  • in the presence of elderly, immunocompromised or chronically ill people;
  • for fragile people (elderly or immunocompromised...).
  • in the event of symptoms and up to 7 days in the event of contact status at risk or in isolation.

What are the Covid measures in hospitals?

With the end of the state of health emergency in France on July 31, 2022, there was the end of the exceptional measures for the hospital. the health pass is no longer required at the entrance to hospitals. Wearing a mask either, in theory. Nevertheless, the AP-HP (Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris) indicates that 'due to the fragility of the people who are cared for, and given the high level of circulation of the virus, in hospitals, wearing a mask will remain compulsory inside hospital buildings (not in outdoor areas) for staff, patients and visitors.' Elsewhere than in Paris, the person in charge of the establishment or the medico-social service (hospitals, clinics, health centers, etc.) may make it compulsory to wear a protective mask, indicates the Public Service website. Find out before you go to the hospital.

What are the Covid measures at school?

Since the back to school 2022 , there is more protocol at school . The Ministry of Education established, in connection with the health authorities, a graduation including a pedestal of measures and three protocol levels (green, orange, red). It is the 'base' level that is currently in force: there is no no restrictions for students (no mask, no distance ...) and face-to-face course for all levels.

  Sanitary measures at'école pour septembre 2022
Sanitary measures at school for September 2022

What are the measures for the 4th dose of Covid vaccine?

The second booster dose is open to:

  • people aged 18 to 60 years old at risk of severe form
  • women pregnant from the 1st trimester of pregnancy
  • people in those around vulnerable people or immunocompromised
  • the elderly 60 years and over who are 6 months or more away from their first booster (or last covid infection)
  • people of over 80 years old
  • residents in accommodation establishments for dependent elderly people (Ehpad) and in long-term care units (USLD)
  • immunocompromised patients
  • to all healthcare professionals , regardless of their age or state of health
  • to all of employees in the health and medico-social sector l,  home help working with vulnerable people, medical transport professionals , as well as to firefighters

The bivalent vaccines, targeted on the Omicron variant, arrived on Monday, October 3 in pharmacies.

What are the measures for isolation?

For positive people with a complete and up-to-date vaccination schedule and for children under 12 years old : Isolation is for 7 (full) days from the date of onset of symptoms or date of positive test collection.

  Diagram of the rules of'isolement en cas de Covid
Diagram of isolation rules in the event of Covid and for contact cases

What are the Covid measures for contact cases?

' We must continue to be tested when we have the impression of having symptoms or that we are in contact. Laboratories must be able to 'type' which virus is involved. Without it, we won't know if a nasty variant arises. There may be .”, recommended Brigitte Autran on October 4 on RMC. A person in contact with a person who tested positive for Covid-19 must be notified by the positive case or by Health Insurance (by SMS or by telephone). there is more isolation instructions for contact cases and the test instructions are identical regardless of your vaccination status. The contact case must perform a drug test (RT-PCR or antigen test or self-test) 2 days after being notified by Health Insurance or by the positive person .

What are the measures for travel?

Since August 1, 2022, the border health control system has been lifted, in accordance with the law ending the exceptional regimes created to fight the epidemic linked to covid-19. Travelers don't have no more formalities to complete before their arrival in France, in mainland France and overseas, and presentation of the health pass can no longer be required, regardless of the country or zone of origin. Likewise, no more justification of the reason for a trip departing from France, in mainland France and overseas, no certificate of leaving the territory is required by the French authorities to go to another country.

Which measures have disappeared in France?

Since August 1, 2022:

  • End of health pass obligation in places where it could still be required (hospital, EHPAD, etc.)
  • End of the obligation to wear a mask, but it remains recommended in transport in particular.
  • End of possible use of confinement and curfew
  • Dissolution of the Covid-19 Scientific Council replaced by a 'Health Risk Watch and Anticipation Committee' (COVARS) placed under the Ministers of Health and Research.

Covid-19: International travel, Ministry of the Interior.