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Covid-19 Bulletin no. 54 – Further Announcement 17th December

Covid-19 Bulletin no. 54 – Further Announcement 17th December

Welcome to our fifty-fourth bulletin during the Coronavirus epidemic.

Following the meeting of the Conseil de Defence Sanitaire on 17th December 2021, the French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, made the following announcements:

Pass Sanitaire will become a vaccination pass. This vaccination pass will only work on the basis of a complete vaccination schedule and no longer on the basis of a simple negative test as is currently the case. This new law will be put before parliament at the beginning of January.

Booster shots after 4 months. The third dose of vaccine will now be available 4 months after the second dose, shortened from 5 months currently.

Overtime pay to be doubled in hospitals from Monday (20 December). M. Castex said: “We owe them a lot. First of all, we owe them our gratitude for their commitment during the holidays, as they will continue to be on the bridge without respite. In this respect, the remuneration for overtime at the hospital will be doubled as of next Monday.”

No unauthorised gatherings on New Year’s Eve. For the evening of 31 December and the New Year festivities, departmental prefects will prohibit unauthorised gatherings and the consumption of alcohol on the public highway and will invite municipalities to refrain from organising gatherings on the public highway, particularly fireworks or concerts.

NOTE:  Amendment to Bulletin 53 – travel from the UK to France.
French nationals and those legally resident in France will not need a compelling reason to travel to France. All other visitors will need a compelling reason. The full list of acceptable compelling reasons (in French) can be found here : https://www.gouvernement.fr/partage/12604-le-gouvernement-renforce-les-mesures-de-controle-sanitaire-aux-frontieres-avec-le-royaume-uni?fbclid=IwAR1uuzx5I87xJel-5LUVKlioAmv1hGYIOiV5i9FvVWae0t1jZOg8_ZPUdUQ.

Cancer Support France-Languedoc (CSF-L), Covid-19 response

CSF-L continues to support English speakers touched by cancer in Hérault and Aveyron, as well as extending support to people touched by Covid-19 during the crisis. In line with guidance, this is done at distance. Our Helpline can be reached on 04 67 44 87 06. (This is a voicemail service and we aim to return calls within 24 hours of a message being left).
 
If there is information you would like to share with others, please contact us using our email address: feedback.csflanguedoc@gmail.com
 
We hope you stay safe and well.

Posted by steve
Covid-19 Bulletin no. 53 – New restrictions on travel between UK to France

Covid-19 Bulletin no. 53 – New restrictions on travel between UK to France

Welcome to our fifty-third bulletin during the Coronavirus epidemic. concerning new, stricter, restrictions on travel between UK and France.

Faced with the rapid spread of the omicron Covid-19 variant in the UK, the French government spokesman, Gabriel Attal, confirms stricter border controls for travellers entering France from the United Kingdom.

  • Residents of France and French and EU nationals are free to travel but only under the rules of essential travel.

People without French citizenship or residency, tourists and most second homeowners are essentially barred from entering France under the new rules.

According to a government statement, from midnight Saturday (2300 GMT Friday) there will be a “requirement to have an essential reason to travel to, or come from, the UK, both for the unvaccinated and vaccinated… People cannot travel for touristic or professional reasons”.

Rules From Saturday 18th December:

  • A negative PCR or antibody test of less than 24 hours will be required.
  • All travellers from the UK will have to sign up on an online platform before their departure to France. They must mention where they will be staying. Law enforcement authorities will check at the address you have listed to ensure you are not breaking quarantine.
  • 7 days quarantine for arrivals from the UK but this can be shortened to 48 hours with a negative test taken on arrival in France.
  • Passengers arriving from the UK must show a compelling reason to enter France. This will only apply to French nationals and others legally resident in France. Tourism and business trips will not be allowed.

Sources:

Cancer Support France-Languedoc (CSF-L), Covid-19 response

CSF-L continues to support English speakers touched by cancer in Hérault and Aveyron, as well as extending support to people touched by Covid-19 during the crisis. In line with guidance, this is done at distance. Our Helpline can be reached on 04 67 44 87 06. (This is a voicemail service and we aim to return calls within 24 hours of a message being left).
 
If there is information you would like to share with others, please contact us using our email address: feedback.csflanguedoc@gmail.com
 
We hope you stay safe and well.

Posted by steve
Covid-19 Bulletin no. 52 – Updated Guidelines in France and the UK

Covid-19 Bulletin no. 52 – Updated Guidelines in France and the UK

Welcome to our fifty-second bulletin during the Coronavirus epidemic. 

With the arrival of the COVID19 variant ‘Omicron’ in western Europe, both the UK and French governments have issued recently updated guidelines and regulations. Please find a summary of the most relevant pieces of information, made public in the last few days.

News from the British Embassy website:
This information is of particular interest for those planning to travel between the UK and France during the Christmas and New Year period.

Passengers travelling to the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)
If you are fully vaccinated and arrive in the UK after 4am Tuesday 30 November, you:

  • must self-isolate
  • take a PCR test before the end of day 2 after you arrive (lateral flow tests will not be accepted)
  • can leave self-isolation if your PCR test result is negative

For the UK, proof of vaccination is valid only on condition that it shows a full course of vaccination, i.e. you can only enter the UK a full 14 days after the second dose of the vaccine.

https://uk.ambafrance.org/COVID-19-rules-for-travel-between-France-and-the-UK-28918?fbclid=IwAR0TRfwrlzG87h7Rq9jbFUJ211wBMFdkr78sd68JVNpfPxAQJrlBul7CG5w#t2-10-day-quarantine-measure-imposed-on-passengers-coming-from-nbsp

Passengers travelling to France from the UK
From 4 December 2021, fully vaccinated travellers (12 years old or more), of whatever nationality, have to provide the result of a negative PCR or antigen test (on paper or digital format) carried out less than 48 hours prior to departure. Self-administered tests, whose results are not certified by a laboratory (e.g. tests provided free of charge by the NHS) will not be considered valid for travel.

The NHS has indicated that it will not carry out these tests for travel purposes.

Private entities offering the same service must therefore be used.

News from the French government:
Vaccination of over 65s
Those over 65 will be able to have their 3rd (booster) shot in any vaccination centre, without appointment, from now on.

Home working
The French government recommends that where possible employees now work from home on 2 to 3 days per week.

Primary schools
From 9th December 2021 masks will be worn in school playgrounds as well as in each classroom. Indoor sporting activities will be reduced, in favour of outdoor activity.

Testing will continue and classes will be shut if there are a minimum of three  positive cases.

From Monday 13th December 2021, new systems will be implemented to ensure that different classes do not mingle in school canteens at lunchtimes.

Vaccination of young children
From 15th December 2021, children who are considered to be at high risk can be vaccinated from the age of 5.

From 20th December 2021, all children of 5 or upwards can be vaccinated (to be confirmed).

One other important piece of news in France:
The website Covidliste which enables you to find a vaccination appointment near you and which was suspended on 17th October 2021, has now been reactivated. Even if you have used it before, you will need to register again as a new user.

https://www.covidliste/#new_user

Cancer Support France-Languedoc (CSF-L), Covid-19 response

CSF-L continues to support English speakers touched by cancer in Hérault and Aveyron, as well as extending support to people touched by Covid-19 during the crisis. In line with guidance, this is done at distance. Our Helpline can be reached on 04 67 44 87 06. (This is a voicemail service and we aim to return calls within 24 hours of a message being left).
 
If there is information you would like to share with others, please contact us using our email address: feedback.csflanguedoc@gmail.com
 
We hope you stay safe and well.

Posted by steve
Covid-19 Bulletin no. 51 – Olivier Varan, Health Minister’s address to the nation

Covid-19 Bulletin no. 51 – Olivier Varan, Health Minister’s address to the nation

Welcome to our fifty-first bulletin during the Coronavirus epidemic. In this bulletin, we bring you news of the French Health Minister’s press conference on 25th November 2021 announcing:

  • Obligatory gap between vaccinations reduced
  • Pass sanitaire no longer valid unless you have received your 3rd dose of vaccine
  • Negative PCR tests now only valid for 24 hours
  • Anti-viral drug Molnupiravir can now be prescribed by your GP

On 25 November 2021 Olivier Varan, Health Minister, gave a press conference to update the situation regarding COVID 19 and the introduction of revised government measures to deal with the ‘Fifth Wave’. The most relevant to CSF-Languedoc clients and members are as follows:

  • The government will not impose a new lockdown. There will be no re-introduction of curfew nor a mass return to working from home. 
  • A third dose of the anti-Covid vaccine will now be made available for all people over the age of 18.
  • The obligatory time gap between administration of the 2nd and 3rd doses of anti-COVID vaccine is being reduced from 6 months to 5 months. 
  • From 15th December 2021, for those over 65 years of age, the Pass Sanitaire will no longer be valid unless you have received your 3rd dose of anti-COVID vaccine. In other words, your Pass Sanitaire will be updated as part of the third dose procedure.
  • This rule, concerning the updating of the Pass Sanitaire, will be extended to the whole adult population from 15th January 2022.
  • The Pass Sanitaire will be deactivated 7 months after the date of your second dose of the anti-COVID vaccine IF you have not received the 3rd dose.
  • From Friday 26th November 2021 – wearing masks in public indoor spaces will be made compulsory, with or without possession of a Pass Sanitaire.
  • Negative PCR tests – “tests conforts” – for the purposes of the use of the Pass Sanitaire will be valid for 24 hours only, not the previous 72 hours. The PCR  tests are not refundable.
  • Primary and nursery school classes will no longer be automatically shut down if one pupil tests positive. The remaining pupils can return to school with negative tests.
  • From December 2021, the anti-viral drug, Molnupiravir, will be available to treat the symptoms of Covid-19 at home. Initially, it will be available to people over-65 and those with serious health conditions. The drug can now be prescribed by your GP.

Cancer Support France-Languedoc (CSF-L), Covid-19 response

CSF-L continues to support English speakers touched by cancer in Hérault and Aveyron, as well as extending support to people touched by Covid-19 during the crisis. In line with guidance, this is done at distance. Our Helpline can be reached on 04 67 44 87 06. (This is a voicemail service and we aim to return calls within 24 hours of a message being left).
 
If there is information you would like to share with others, please contact us using our email address: feedback.csflanguedoc@gmail.com
 
We hope you stay safe and well.

Posted by steve
Covid-19 Bulletin no. 50 – President Macron’s address to the nation

Covid-19 Bulletin no. 50 – President Macron’s address to the nation

Welcome to our fiftieth bulletin during the Coronavirus epidemic. In this bulletin, we bring you news of President Macron’s broadcast on 9th November 2021.
On the evening of 9 November 2021, President Macron delivered his first broadcast to the nation since 12th July. Much of the broadcast covered issues related to government intentions going forward and may be seen in the context of next year’s Presidential election.

In direct relation to COVID 19, President Macron said that although the Covid-19 epidemic is considered to be under control in France, the virus has not disappeared and we are not yet finished with it.

He stressed that continuing effort is still necessary in the vaccination campaign. He appealed to the 6 million French adults who have not yet received a dose of the vaccine to do so, pointing out that someone who has been vaccinated is eleven times less likely to be hospitalised if infected by the virus.

Studies have shown that six months after the second dose of the vaccine, the level of immunity is lower and hence the risk of developing a severe form of the illness is higher. Consequently the third (booster) dose will soon be integrated into the Pass Sanitaire for those over the age of 65.

From 15th December 2021, those over 65 will need to show a certificate for the 3rd dose in order prolong the validity of their Pass Sanitaire.

In addition, the lowering of the level of immunity after 6 months also applies to those under 65. The President noted that 80% of those infected and needing intensive care are over the age of 50.

A new health publicity campaign will start at the beginning of December for those between 50-64 with the aim of persuading this section of the population to received their third dose and be certified by the end of 2021.

More details will follow when they are known.

Cancer Support France-Languedoc (CSF-L), Covid-19 response

CSF-L continues to support English speakers touched by cancer in Hérault and Aveyron, as well as extending support to people touched by Covid-19 during the crisis. In line with guidance, this is done at distance. Our Helpline can be reached on 04 67 44 87 06. (This is a voicemail service and we aim to return calls within 24 hours of a message being left).
 
If there is information you would like to share with others, please contact us using our email address: feedback.csflanguedoc@gmail.com
 
We hope you stay safe and well.

Posted by steve
Covid-19 Bulletin no. 49 – Relaxation of rules on mask-wearing

Covid-19 Bulletin no. 49 – Relaxation of rules on mask-wearing

Welcome to our forty-ninth bulletin during the Coronavirus epidemic.  In this bulletin, we bring you news about the relaxation of the wearing of masks and an update on travel arrangements if you are travelling to England plus news about the costs of PCR and lateral flow tests.  

Wearing of Masks Outdoors in Herault

Since 16th September 2021, it is no longer compulsory to wear a mask outdoors in Hérault, with the following exceptions:

  • Outdoor markets, car boot sales.
  • Large assemblies (festivals, outdoor entertainments).
  • Queues.
  • Outdoor areas in railway stations, bus stations, airports, ports, within 50 metres of bus stops and tramway stops.
  • Outdoor areas around shopping centres, schools and places of worship.  
  • Very busy streets and pedestrianised areas.

It will no longer be necessary to show your Pass Sanitaire for access to the three large shopping centres in the area which were previously subject to this rule.

Masks in primary schools in green zone
The French government has announced that as from 4th October 2021 face masks will no longer be required in primary schools in certain departments. For the departments covered by CSF-Languedoc, the Hérault is in the red zone, the Aveyron is in the green zone.

In the green zone, the limits of numbers in indoor public places (e.g., supermarkets, cinemas, museums, sporting facilities etc.) will also be lifted.

No change to the requirements for the Pass Sanitaire.

Travel to England from France

From 4th October 2021, for anyone who is doubly vaccinated, there will be no need for a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old. The Day 8 test will also no longer be necessary.

Travellers from France to England will still be required to:

  • book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before Day 2 after you arrive in England

You can find a list of authorised travel test providers here – https://www.find-travel-test-provider.service.gov.uk/test-type/green.

For the moment, this applies only to England. Please check for requirements for travel to Scotland,  Wales and Northern Ireland.

Reimbursement of PCR or lateral flow tests

From 15th October 2021, PCR or lateral flow tests in France will only be reimbursed on presentation of a medical prescription*. PCR tests are carried out at specialist testing centres (see here for the interactive map to find your nearest testing centre). Lateral flow tests are carried out at local pharmacies.

The cost of the tests has not yet been published, but it is likely to be similar to the price already paid by foreigners (29€ for the lateral flow test and 49€ for the PCR test).

*NOTE:  As part of the incentive to get people vaccinated, these tests will continue to be reimbursed – and available without prescription- for those who are fully vaccinated.

Cancer Support France-Languedoc (CSF-L), Covid-19 response

CSF-L continues to support English speakers touched by cancer in Hérault and Aveyron, as well as extending support to people touched by Covid-19 during the crisis. In line with guidance, this is done at distance. Our Helpline can be reached on 04 67 44 87 06. (This is a voicemail service and we aim to return calls within 24 hours of a message being left).
 
If there is information you would like to share with others, please contact us using our email address: feedback.csflanguedoc@gmail.com
 
We hope you stay safe and well.

Posted by steve
Covid-19 Bulletin no. 48 – 3 September – Booster vaccinations

Covid-19 Bulletin no. 48 – 3 September – Booster vaccinations

Welcome to our forty-eighth bulletin during the Coronavirus epidemic.  In this bulletin, we bring you news about the third booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.  The HAS (Haute autorité de Santé) recommend the injection of a third booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine for the over-65s and the most vulnerable.  The rules are:

  • There must be a delay of at least six months between the second and third doses of the vaccine.
  • Appointment slots are now open and can be booked via Doctolib. Vaccinations are due to begin on 15th September, however, the vaccines are widely available so you may get your appointment sooner.
  • The boosters are available for Pfizer, Moderna and Astra Zeneca (those vaccinated with Astra Zeneca will receive Pfizer or Moderna as their booster). There has been no decision on Jenssen.
  • Priority will be given to residents of old people’s homes (Ehpad) and long-term care units (USLD), people over 80 living at home, people at very high risk of severe forms of the disease, as well as immunocompromised people.
  • The high-risk categories include obesity, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, respiratory disease), respiratory failure, heart disease, complicated hypertension, Down’s syndrome, solid organ transplants, psychiatric disorder, history of cardiovascular accident. Click here for the full list of rare diseases leading to a high risk of hospitalisation or death from Covid-19.
  • Those who will be eligible for the third dose from 26th October (i.e., those who received their second dose in late April), will be recalled at the same time as they receive their recall for the annual seasonal flu jab, though the vaccinations will not be given at the same time – there will be a compulsory two-week gap between the two vaccines.
  • Veran also said that the government “could not rule out” an extension of the Passe Sanitaire beyond 15th November, but that would not happen without the agreement of Parliament.

In the long term, the third dose will be made available to all those vaccinated. The aim is to reduce the severity of subsequent waves and so limit the effect on hospital capacity as well as to increase the immunity of the wider public to enable a return to a more normal life.

Cancer Support France-Languedoc (CSF-L), Covid-19 response

CSF-L continues to support English speakers touched by cancer in the Hérault and Aveyron, as well as extending support to people touched by Covid-19 during the crisis. In line with guidance, this is done at distance. Our Helpline can be reached on 04 67 44 87 06. (This is a voicemail service and we aim to return calls within 24 hours of a message being left).
 
If there is information you would like to share with others, please contact us using our email address: feedback.csflanguedoc@gmail.com
 
We hope you stay safe and well.

Posted by steve
Covid-19 Bulletin no. 47 – 8 August 2021 – Pass Sanitaire

Covid-19 Bulletin no. 47 – 8 August 2021 – Pass Sanitaire

Welcome to our forty-seventh bulletin during the Coronavirus epidemic.  In this bulletin we bring you news on:

  • Pass Sanitaire to be required in bars and restaurants (including terraces)
  • Masks to be worn outside in some towns and cities in Occitanie
  • France classified as Amber in the UK’s travel rules (was Amber Plus)
  • “Plan Blanc” implemented in Occitanie

The Pass Sanitaire required in bars and restaurants from Monday 9th August 

From Monday 9th August 2021, the owners of restaurants, bars and cafes will be obliged to ask their clients for their Pass Sanitaire (which is already required to visit cinemas, theatres, museums etc.).  You will also be asked for it in the following places:

  • Medical establishments (except in emergencies)
  • When boarding aeroplanes
  • When boarding public transport (only for long journeys by train or bus)
  • Some large shopping centres (this will be decided at Departmental level)

The “Pass Sanitaire” is a document (paper or digital) proving that you have either:

  1. had both doses of the vaccine, or
  2. had a negative Covid test with the last 72 hours, or
  3. had a positive antibody test less than 6 months before (for those who have recovered from Covid).

NOTE: You may also be asked to show photo ID.

For more information about the “Pass Sanitaire” in English, click here.

Masks once more compulsory in some urban areas

Some large towns and cities in Occitanie have re-introduced the compulsory wearing of masks.

Travel  France moves to the amber list

If you arrive in England from France from 4.00 a.m. Sunday 8 August and you are fully vaccinated in the UK, USA or Europe, you will not need to quarantine on arrival in England. 

You are still required to:

  • take a pre-departure Covid test less than 72 hours before you leave France;
  • complete a Passenger Locator form; and
  • book and take a day 2 Covid-19 test

NOTE:  You are no longer required to take a test on day 8 after your arrival in the UK.
For more information, click here.

According to the BBC website, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have all confirmed that they will be following England’s travel rules which come into force from 4.00 a.m. on Sunday 8 August 2021.

Emergency hospital “plan blanc” put into effect in Occitanie

Along with other tourist regions of France, Occitanie has seen an alarming rise in Covid cases in recent weeks. The regional health authority has instigated the emergency “plan blanc”. This involves mobilising more staff, providing extra intensive care beds and postponing non-urgent surgical procedures. For more information click on the link below:https://www.occitanie.ars.sante.fr/coronavirus-dernier-point-de-situation-en-occitanie-0

Cancer Support France-Languedoc (CSF-L), Covid-19 response

CSF-L continues to support English speakers touched by cancer in the Hérault and Aveyron, as well as extending support to people touched by Covid-19 during the crisis. In line with guidance, this is done at distance. Our Helpline can be reached on 04 67 44 87 06. (This is a voicemail service and we aim to return calls within 24 hours of a message being left).

If there is information you would like to share with others, please contact us using our email address: feedback.csflanguedoc@gmail.com
 
We hope you stay safe and well.

Posted by steve
Walks for Life 2021 is here

Walks for Life 2021 is here

Following last year’s successful new format Walks for Life, when over 200 intrepid CSF-Languedoc supporters not only organised walks and cycle rides at locations ranging from Cornwall to Canada, but also raised almost 8,300 Euros while they were at it, we are repeating the same winning format this year.

Once again, we are inviting people to organise their own walk or cycle ride, any place, anywhere, and on any day in September.  All funds raised will be split between CSF-Languedoc and la Ligue contre le cancer (Comité de l’Herault). 

For full details on the event and how to register, click here.

Posted by steve in Walk for Life
Covid-19 Bulletin no. 46 – 13 July 2021

Covid-19 Bulletin no. 46 – 13 July 2021

Welcome to our forty-sixth bulletin during the Coronavirus epidemic.  In this bulletin we summarise the new regulations as announced by President Macron on 12th July 2021.

In his eighth public announcement since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, President Macron announced, after a meeting of the public health committee, the following:

Extension of the « pass sanitaire »

The “pass sanitaire” is a document (paper or digital) proving that either:

  • you have had both doses of the vaccine; or
  • you have had a negative Covid test within the last 72 hours; or
  • you have a positive antibody test less than 6 months old (for those who have recovered from Covid).

Previously necessary for events of more than 1000 people¸ use of the « pass sanitaire » will be considerably extended, in two stages:

  • From 21st July 2021, it will be required for events of more than 50 people and also indoor public places such as museums, theatres, cinemas, shopping centres etc. where more than 50 people could congregate.”*
  • From the beginning of August, it will be required for entry to restaurants, bars, trains and aeroplanes, medical establishments and even on long bus journeys.

Veran announces that vaccination will be considered complete in France one week after the second dose

Olivier Véran, Minister of Health, pointed out on Tuesday that the vaccination schedule would be considered complete one week after the administration of the second dose, instead of the two currently, a decision matured during discussions during the day with the president of the Scientific Council and the coordinator of the vaccination campaign. This does not, however, apply to travel requirements outside France.

Compulsory vaccination for workers in contact with vulnerable people

From 15th September 2021 vaccination will be compulsory for medical professionals and other staff working in hospitals, clinics and retirement homes, and will include workers caring for the elderly at home.

Booster jabs for those vaccinated in January or February 2021

As from the beginning of September 2021 there will be a campaign to recall those who were vaccinated in January or February 2021 and who were among the most vulnerable. They will be recalled for a booster dose of the vaccine.

Campaign of vaccination for secondary school pupils, sixth form pupils and students

A vaccination campaign for secondary school pupils, sixth form pupils and students will begin when schools reopen in September 2021.

Non-essential tests no longer reimbursed

As from October 2021, a doctor’s prescription will be necessary for reimbursement of the PCR and antigenic tests. These tests are already no longer free for tourists.

Stricter border controls

With immediate effect, there will be stricter border controls and non-vaccinated people from higher-risk countries will be asked to self-isolate.

Cancer Support France-Languedoc (CSF-L), Covid-19 response

CSF-L continues to support English speakers touched by cancer in the Hérault and Aveyron, as well as extending support to people touched by Covid-19 during the crisis. In line with guidance, this is done at distance. Our Helpline can be reached on 04 67 44 87 06. (This is a voicemail service and we aim to return calls within 24 hours of a message being left).

If there is information you would like to share with others, please contact us using our email address: feedback.csflanguedoc@gmail.com

We hope you stay safe and well.

Posted by steve