Covid, France loosens restrictions: no outdoor masks, from February 16 ok at concerts and discos

from Stefano Montefiori

The management of the pandemic is one of the themes of the electoral campaign for the presidency of the Republic (votes are held on 10 and 24 April) and according to the polls the work of Emmanuel Macron is considered globally positive

from our correspondent
PARIS – France begins to ease restrictions against the pandemic, as expected as early as January 20, albeit the infections are very numerous (over 400,000 in 24 hours) and the total number of deaths always high (381). The health authorities estimate that there is a slow improvement, the peak seems to have passed, therefore the government keeps the promises announced a few weeks ago and follows the road already taken by England and Denmark. The outdoor masks from today Wednesday 2 February are no longer mandatory throughout the country, which therefore conforms to some cities such as Paris that had already removed the obligation in December. However, outdoor masks remain recommended in the case of groupings of many people, for example on the occasion of political rallies in the square.

Instead, the obligation remains for shops, shopping centers, bars, restaurants, cinemas, theaters and stadiums. In the stadiums and also in other places of sporting or cultural practice such as museums it comes removed the limit on admissionswhich so far numbered 2,000 indoors and 5,000 outdoors. Smart working, which since the beginning of January was mandatory in offices for 3-4 days a week, is only recommended and entrusted to the dialogue between employer and employees within the company. We continue to think that it is an effective tool – says the Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne – to be modulated according to the situation of the companies. The next stage is scheduled for February 16thwhen concerts and discos will be authorized again, closed from 10 December.

The management of the pandemic is one of the themes of the electoral campaign for the presidency of the Republic (votes are held on 10 and 24 April) and according to the polls, Emmanuel Macron’s work is judged to be globally positive. One of the pride of the government, having kept the schools always open except in the weeks of the first lockdown, was questioned at the beginning of January with the increase in infections in classrooms due to the Omicron variant and the complex health protocol (three negative self-tests in five days for fellow students with Covid). But help could come from the two weeks of winter holidays scheduled for mid-February.


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