The government of France suspended by decree the mandatory nature of the chinstrap in cinemas, museums or sports facilities that require a health pass to enter, a measure criticized by many scientists due to the risks it can pose to immunosuppressed people and amid the increase in coronavirus cases – more than 18,000 in the last 24 hours – caused by the Delta variant.
“Wherever the anti-Covid-19 health pass is needed, people” may remove their masks “,” unless expressly ordered by the prefects of the departments depending on the epidemiological situation, “said the Minister of Health, Olivier, on Tuesday. See, to RTL radio.
The health pass against Covid-19 informs if the holder completed the vaccination schedule, if you are immunized or if you tested negative in a recent PCR test.
The measure, approved by decree, was published in the French Official Gazette and takes effect on Wednesday.
This decision is known the same day that Parliament begins the study of a law that obliges health personnel to be vaccinated and that it extends the use of the health pass to more establishments, such as bars and restaurants, which caused contrary demonstrations in the street on Saturday, although a majority continues to support, according to the latest polls.
For Véran, the chinstrap is no longer necessary because with the health pass it is “sure that all the people who enter are fully vaccinated or have a recent negative test,” the AFP news agency reported.
Contrary to the public, the employees of these establishments will have to continue wearing chinstraps, the Ministry of Labor said.
However, not everyone agrees with the measure.
The epidemiologist Dominique Costagliola claimed to have received the measure “with amazement.”
“It’s a bad idea,” he said on France Inter radio.
“We must walk with lead feet to combat this pandemic, and not withdraw some measures when new ones arrive,” he added.
“This decision prevents access to these places to 250,000 severely immunosuppressed people, who have the health pass, vaccinated, but with a high risk and (…) that they can only count on everyone wearing a mask to protect themselves, “reacted, for its part, the association of liver transplants, Renaloo.
Under the impact of the new Delta variant, more than two times more contagious than the original strain, the French Government is already talking about a “fourth wave”, with a daily average of 8,000 cases in the last seven days, against 1,850 in June.
Véran warned this Tuesday that In the last 24 hours, infections were 18,000, against less than 7,000 a week earlier, and considered that this increase, caused by the Delta variant, is unprecedented.
“This means that we have an increase in the circulation of the virus around 150% in a week,” Véran told the National Assembly.
That level of positive cases had not been registered since mid-May.
For the Minister of Health, France “never registered this, neither with Covid (its original strain) nor with the English variant, nor with the South African nor with the Brazilian.”
“We only have one weapon, the vaccination (…) to get rid of Covid once and for all, “added the minister.
The government fears that this progression, which particularly affects young people, will end up spreading to unvaccinated elderly or at-risk people and will increase hospitalizations.
France accumulates 5.87 million cases since the beginning of the pandemic and more than 112,000 deaths from the disease.
With information from the Télam agency