Covid-19 Bulletin no. 37

Welcome to our thirty-seventh bulletin during the Coronavirus epidemic. In this issue we have information about:
-PM Castex’s latest  announcement about C-19 restrictions in France
-Shopping centres closed in the Herault
-New advice about masks
-Further advice on vaccinations Information about GHIC and EHIC cards  

Prime Minister’s Announcement
At 8pm on Friday 29 January 2021 French Prime minister Jean Castex made the following announcement relating to Covid 19 and the restrictions in France:

The pandemic continues to be severe in France.  The R rate (the rate of reproduction of the virus) is 1.12 and 60% of intensive care beds are full of Covid patients.  PM Castex is offering one last chance to avoid another lockdown and invites people to continue to be vigilant. The 6pm curfew across France will remain in place for the time being   He is not ruling out another lockdown in future An almost total ban on travel to and from non-EU countries has been introduced (this includes the UK) Those traveling between EU countries are required to produce a negative Covid 19 test – this is compulsory Businesses are encouraged to increase opportunities for employees to work from home Non-food shops over 20,000 square metres are to shut from Monday.

Shopping centres closed in the Herault
The following shopping centres are closed, with only the food shops and pharmacies remaining open.  In addition, click and collect services are suspended but deliveries are authorised.

Montpellier The Odysseum shopping centre. The Polygone shopping centre, Béziers The Polygone shopping centre. The Auchan shopping centre (Auchan itself remains open) Lattes The Carrefour shopping centre  (Carrefour itself remains open)..  
Those shops permitted to open are required to enforce limits on customer numbers, and the police are being requested to enforce the rules.
Lycees will remain open.

Masks
There is new advice (though this is not a compulsory directive) on the types of face mask which provide the most protection – particularly from the UK variant of the virus, an announcement on 19 January said.  

It is suggested that cloth masks provide insufficient protection and, if you wear a cloth mask you should additionally wear a paper surgical mask. 

An alternative would be to use a professional FFP2 mask which are now easily available to buy on the internet at 1 euro each.  Use this link to purchase yours.   https://www.medisafe.fr/produits-d-hygiene/usage-unique/masque/masques-ffp2.html

Vaccinations
Those aged 75 or over, or with conditions which cause vulnerabilities, are eligible for a vaccine. 

Despite the much publicised shortage of vaccines, it is still possible (though challenging) to get appointment via www.sante.fr.

The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) – a summary of post-Brexit Arrangements
Here we bring you up to date on current information and outline how you are covered from 1 January 2021 for health care that becomes medically necessary during a stay in another EU country or in the UK.

For those who live in the UK, the current EHIC card has been replaced by a new GHIC card.

People living in the UK will be able to use their existing EHICs until they expire, at which point they will apply for the new GHIC. The GHIC offers almost the same cover as the previous EHIC, but with one difference; unlike the EHIC it can’t be used in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

For UK nationals living in Europe, the EU-issued EHIC will continue to be valid if you travel to the UK, as well as in other EU states, as it is now.  Nothing will change for you and you do not need to take any specific action.

A reminder that the EHIC only covers the cost of treatment which becomes medically necessary during your stay outside your host country. This includes: emergency treatment and visits to A&E treatment for a long-term or pre-existing medical condition routine medical care for pre-existing conditions that need monitoring oxygen and kidney dialysis Some treatments need to be pre-arranged with the relevant healthcare provider in the country you are visiting, for example kidney dialysis or chemotherapy.

You will be reimbursed on the same basis as a national of the country you’re visiting. This means that in some countries you may need to pay a proportion of the cost of the health care you receive.
For more information, see the UK Government’s page.  https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-uk-global-health-insurance-card-ghic/

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.