The decision was awaited. The isolation rules for vaccinated people who test positive for Covid-19 will be lightened from Monday, January 3: the quarantine is reduced to seven days, regardless of the variant. This isolation can be lifted after five days in the event of an antigen test or negative PCR, announced the French Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, in an interview with Sunday newspaper dated January 2.
In addition, there will be no more quarantine for contact cases with a complete vaccination schedule. However, they must strictly respect barrier gestures and “Do regular tests”, explained Olivier Véran.
Until now, positive people had to stay in isolation for 10 days regardless of the variant, and contact cases of a person who contracted the Omicron variant had to self-isolate for a minimum of 7 days. The unvaccinated will still have to isolate themselves for ten days, ” with a possible exit after seven days under the same conditions “, either a negative antigen or PCR test, explained Olivier Véran.
Quarantine maintained for unvaccinated contact cases
Prime Minister Jean Castex announced Monday that new isolation rules, facing the Omicron wave, would be unveiled this weekend.
Vaccinated contact cases will no longer be subject to quarantine. “If you have a complete vaccination schedule, you will be able to continue your activities provided you have regular tests”, says Mr. Véran. “The first, a PCR or an antigen, on D0, the day you learn that you are in contact. Then, you will have to perform a self-test on D + 2 and D + 4. By providing proof of your first screening on D0 at the pharmacy, you will receive all the self-tests necessary for your follow-up free of charge..
Contact persons should “Strictly apply barrier measures, in particular wearing a mask indoors and outdoors”, and telework “As far as possible”, specifies the ministry in a press release.
On the other hand, if you are in contact and “You are not vaccinated or if you have not made your booster on time, you will have to isolate yourself for seven days”, explained the minister, then obtain an antigen test or negative PCR at the end of this period to be able to leave isolation.
Don’t shut down the country
While the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 continues to progress in the country, which has recorded more than 200,000 new cases daily for four consecutive days, Mr. Véran justifies the reduction of the isolation period by the importance of ‘“Avoid the destabilization of social and economic life”. “Everyone can hear that if everyone is in isolation, the country is at a standstill, which is damaging, including for the health of the French, he explains. And I would like to stress that this change in the rules is only possible thanks to our excellent vaccination coverage rate. “
Regarding contaminated caregivers, the minister indicates that the High Council of Public Health has validated the possibility for them “To waive solitary confinement under certain conditions and to continue working even if[ils ont] le Covid-19, s’[ils n’ont] few or no symptoms “. “The caregivers being by nature vaccinated, it is a question of allowing the continuity of care, taking into account the very great health tension and the high number of positive personnel or cases of contact”, he explains.
The Minister of Health confirms that the variant Omicron, very contagious, is less dangerous than the variant Delta, both active in the country. “The English data published yesterday confirms it: there are three times less severe forms of the disease with Omicron than with Delta”, says Mr. Véran.
“This fifth wave may be the last”
Omicron is, according to the minister, too contagious to be completely stopped, unless strict containment is instituted. “This fifth wave may be the last. Omicron is so contagious that it will affect all populations of the world. It will lead to reinforced immunity: we will all be more armed after its passage “, he hopes.
Also in an interview with the JDD, epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet indicates that the peak in the number of Covid-19 cases “Should peak in mid-January”. “The peak hospital could take place a week later (…) Ile-de-France will be the first to be affected ”, he says. In “A hospital already severely tested by twenty-two months of health crisis”, he says to expect “To a huge logistical and organizational challenge”.
The epidemiologist believes, however, that “The increased use of teleworking will play an important role” to reduce the level of this peak, as well as “Aeration or ventilation efforts” classes and canteens. He recommends stopping gym classes and indoor choirs for the time being. The peak will have “For a limited period” because patients with this variant have a lower need for mechanical ventilation and stay in hospital for less, according to Mr. Fontanet. This member of the scientific council says he is confident that“Term”, this virus “Will join the other seasonal coronaviruses”.
- Wearing a mask will be compulsory from 6 years old in certain public places. This obligation, set out in a decree published on Saturday 1is January to Official newspaper, applies in public transport, boats, planes and vehicles – including taxis and transport cars with driver (VTC) -, as well as in stations, public transport stations and air terminals, specifies the decree. Until now, only children over the age of 11 had to wear a mask. The new rule also concerns establishments open to the public: auditoriums, conference rooms, meeting rooms, performance rooms, indoor sports establishments, outdoor establishments, marquees, places of worship, museums, libraries, shops and shopping centers, markets covered, exhibition rooms, administrations, banks. The only exception to this rule is “The practice of artistic activities” (singing, theater…) and sports, which exempts its practitioners from wearing a mask.