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Covid-19 Bulletin no. 59 – Further Changes to national Covid Restrictions

Covid-19 Bulletin no. 59 – Further Changes to national Covid Restrictions

Today we bring you details of changes to Covid-19 regulations, taken from a Press release issued by the French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, on Thursday 3rd March 2022 which can be summarised as follows:

  • From Monday 14th March
    • The Pass Sanitaire no longer needs to be shown.
    • The wearing of masks will no longer be compulsory.

Full details

After the 5th wave of Covid-19 (Omicron) impacted the population on an unprecedented scale, the national health situation has been improving significantly for several weeks. In particular, the pressure on hospitals due to the epidemic has decreased, allowing the lifting of “plan blanc” (emergency hospital protocol) and a gradual resumption of normal scheduled activities.

Therefore, the government has decided to introduce two changes, effective from Monday 14 March:

  • The application of the Pass Sanitaire will be suspended in ALL places (restaurants, bars, discotheques, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, stadiums, fairs and exhibitions, inter-regional transport, etc.) where it is currently required. The Pass Sanitaire (presentation of proof of vaccination, a negative test or a certificate of recovery) WILL however remain in force at the entrance to hospitals, retirement homes and establishments for disabled people, in order to protect the most fragile while the virus continues to circulate.
  • The wearing of masks, already lifted in outdoor areas and, since 28 February, in places subject to the Pass Sanitaire, will no longer be compulsory in ANY place, with the exception of ALL public transport, in which it will remain required until further notice. This means, among other things, that from Monday 14 March, masks will no longer be required in the workplace or in classrooms.

However, masks are still recommended for at-risk positive and contact cases, symptomatic people and health professionals.

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. 58 – Changes to national Covid Restrictions

Covid-19 Bulletin no. 58 – Changes to national Covid Restrictions

The French government has announced the following changes to national COVID restrictions and regulations, with effect from 28 February 2022.
 
It is no longer compulsory to wear a face mask in public places that require a Pass Sanitaire, namely cinemas, restaurants and museums.  However, face masks are still required to be worn at places of work, in shops, on public transport and in public service buildings.

Contact Cases – where a contact case has been identified, fully vaccinated people now only need to undertake one test (a self-test, PCR or antigenic test). This must be done two days after being declared a contact case.

Positive Test – in the case of vaccinated people, the duration of isolation remains unchanged at 7 full days after the first symptoms or from the date of the positive test, with the possibility of an antigenic or PCR test on the fifth day. If this test is negative, people can end their isolation.

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. 57 – Relaxed Covid-19 restrictions

Covid-19 Bulletin no. 57 – Relaxed Covid-19 restrictions

In this bulletin we bring you news on the gradual relaxation of France’s Covid-19 restrictions.

The French Prime Minister and the Minister for Health gave a press conference on 20 January to confirm important revisions to the country’s regime of COVID-19 restrictions. In general they announced a gradual lifting of public sanitary measures, as follows.

From Monday 24th January 2022

  • Introduction of the Pass Vaccinal. This is dependent on its approval by the Constitutional Council. This will be required for entry into indoor public spaces (e.g. cinemas, theatres, restaurants etc.).

The new Pass Vaccinal will be activated even for those who take their first dose of vaccine from the launch date.

  • The original Pass Sanitaire will still be valid and required for visits to medical establishments and nursing homes (the new Pass Vaccinal will not be required in those circumstances).
  • The 3rd (booster) dose of vaccine will be made available available to 12 to 17 year olds.

From Wednesday 2nd February 2022

  • There will no longer be an upper limit on numbers in venues with seating for 5000 outdoors or 2000 indoors e.g. sports and concert venues.
  • There will be no obligation to wear masks outdoors.
  • Working from home will no longer be compulsory.

From Wednesday 16th February 2022

  • The lifting of the ban on eating and drinking while standing at the bar, or on public transport, will be effected.
  • Discotheques will be allowed to re-open. Masks will still be compulsory within the venue but no negative PCR test (in addition to the Pass Vaccinal) will be required.

From Friday 21st February 2022

  • There may be an easing of current restrictions in schools after the February/March winter holidays. This will be confirmed at a later date.

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. 56 – Revised Travel UK to France – 15th January 2022

Covid-19 Bulletin no. 56 – Revised Travel UK to France – 15th January 2022

The French government has eased the entry requirements for fully vaccinated visitors (non-residents) from the UK with immediate effect, from 14th January 2022. Therefore, fully (click here to see note below on vaccination status)  vaccinated visitors no longer need a compelling reason nor to quarantine on arrival in France.

New regulations for vaccinated travellers in summary
Fully vaccinated travellers from the UK to France must:

  • Present a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within 24 hours pre-departure if aged 12 years and over.
  • Provide a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying they are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight. This can be found on the French government’s website.

Regarding unvaccinated travellers
The restrictions announced, commencing 18th December 2021 (see CSF Bulletin No. 53) remain unchanged. Full details can be found on the British Government website.

General note for all travellers
The French government reserves the right to require travellers to take a test upon arrival in France, including at Gare du Nord for Eurostar arrivals. Anyone testing positive for COVID-19 at that time will be subject to mandatory self-isolation for 10 days.

A note on vaccination status
Visitors from the UK qualify as being fully vaccinated if they arrive:

  • 1 week after the second dose of Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • 4 weeks after a single and only dose of Johnson & Johnson
  • 1 week after a single dose of any of the above vaccines if they have previously tested positive for COVID-19

Demonstrating your COVID-19 status
France will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record at the border. For details on how to demonstrate your COVID-19 status in domestic settings in France, see the UK government’s Coronavirus page. If you are travelling with a printed PDF proof of vaccination status, it must date from 1 November to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully.
 
Note on the expiry of the “Pass Sanitaire”
From 15th January 2022, to maintain the validity of your Pass Sanitaire you must have one of the following:

  • Have received the 3rd (booster) dose less than 7 months from the second dose. From 15th February 2022, this will be shortened to 4 months from the 2nd dose.
  • A negative PCR test done within the last 24 hours.
  • Proof of recovery from Covid (antigen test or PCR) more than 11 days old and less than 6 months.
  • A certificate confirming a medical reason for not being vaccinated.

Note on the new “Pass Vaccinal”
The Pass Sanitaire will very shortly be replaced by the Pass Vaccinal and we will issue a new bulletin when we have full details.

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. 55

Covid-19 Bulletin no. 55

Following the meeting of the Conseil de Defence Sanitaire on 27th December 2021, the French government made the following announcements at the subsequent press conference.

There will be no curfew for New Year’s Eve 2021. However, please note that Nightclubs will remain closed.
The 3rd (booster) dose of vaccine will now be made available 3 months after the 2nd dose. The delay between the second and third doses (or the first and the booster if you have had Covid-19) is now reduced from the current, recently announced, four months to three months only.
Schools will reopen on 3rd January 2022, as planned. The national return to school after the Christmas/New Year holiday will not be postponed and there will be no additional social distancing measures applied in secondary schools and lycées.
Working from home for 3 days per week. From Monday 3rd January 2022, for a minimum of three weeks where possible, home working for employees will be compulsory for 3 days per week, with four days recommended. This new measure will be applied for 3 weeks.
There will be an increase in legal sanctions against the practice of producing false Pass Sanitaires. “It is much more than a circumvention of the republican law […] it is a deliberate act of endangering others”, the Prime Minister said.
Restrictions of the numbers for large gatherings. For large outdoor gatherings, the new restriction is set at 5,000 people. For large indoor gatherings, it will be set at 2,000 people. These limits will come into force on 3rd January 2022 for a period of three weeks. Concerts and other events without seating will be banned for 3 weeks from 3rd January 2022.
Eating or drinking in cinemas and on public transport is now banned. From next Monday 3rd January, it will be forbidden to eat or drink on public transport – including long-distance transport – as well as in cinemas, theatres and sports facilities, again for a minimum of three weeks.
Unseated drinking is banned in bars from 3rd January 2022.  “Drinking in bars and cafés will no longer be allowed while standing up, only seated table service will be permitted”, as of 3rd January and for “three weeks”.

Compensation for businesses affected by the latest rules will be discussed with the Minister of Finance and announced as soon as possible.

There may possibly be changes to the length of compulsory isolation for contact cases. The French government will announce, toward the end of this week whether the compulsory isolation period for contact cases sharing a home with someone who has tested positive, will be lengthened to 17 days.

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. 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