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Covid: France tightens restrictions amid Omicron surge

来源:BBC 作者: 时间:2021-12-28 Tag: 点击:


France has announced tighter Covid restrictions amid concerns over the Omicron variant.

From 3 January, remote working will become compulsory for those who can and public gatherings will be limited to 2,000 people for indoor events.

The news comes as France recorded more than 100,000 new infections on Saturday - the highest number reported in the country since the pandemic began.

But France's prime minister did not bring in a New Year's Eve curfew.

Countries across Europe are tightening restrictions as infections rise and the new Omicron variant spreads through the continent.

Studies suggest the strain is milder than Delta, with a 30% to 70% lower chance of infected people ending up in hospital. But there are fears the sheer number of cases could overwhelm hospitals.

'A film without an ending'

French Prime Minister Jean Castex told reporters the pandemic felt "like a film without an ending" as he unveiled the new measures at a news conference following a crisis cabinet meeting.

Health minister Olivier Véran said coronavirus infections were doubling every two days, warning of a "mega wave" of new cases.


The new rules also include limits on outdoor public gatherings - which will be restricted to 5,000 people - and a ban on eating and drinking on long distance transport.

Nightclubs will remain closed until further notice and cafés and bars will be able to provide table service only. Employees who work from home will have to do so at least three days a week. Mask-wearing will become compulsory in city centres.

The government is also shortening the length of time between booster shots from four months after the last vaccination to three months.

France's planned vaccine pass - which will require proof of vaccination, not just a negative test, to enter public spaces - will come into effect from 15 January, if parliament approves a draft bill.

But Mr Castex did not introduce a full lockdown or New Year's Eve curfew. Schools will also reopen as planned on 3 January.

According to the country's coronavirus dashboard, France currently has an average of more than 70,000 new daily infections.

On Monday, more than 1,600 new hospitalisations were recorded, bringing the total number of people in hospital as a result of Covid-19 to 17,000, according to data from France's public health authority.

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