Emmanuel Macron will hold a health defense council devoted to Covid-19 on Monday, December 27 from 4 p.m., announced the Elysee Palace on Friday, just before an exceptional council of ministers which must adopt the bill transforming the health pass into a vaccination pass .
The President of the Republic must participate by videoconference in the health defense council, said the Elysee. Government spokesman Gabriel Attal explained on Wednesday that a « Reassessment of the health situation » was scheduled for that date, while the arrival of the Omicron variant is causing contamination figures across Europe to panic. In France, the number of contaminations in twenty-four hours stood at 94,124 cases on Friday, a figure never before reached.
Thursday, the scientific council, which advises the government on the epidemic, warned about the extreme contagiousness of the Omicron variant. « In a few days, this virus will be dominant in France », warned its president, Jean-François Delfraissy. “His progression is extremely fast, especially among 20-29 year olds. In January, hundreds of thousands of new cases are expected a day ”, also underlined the epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet, also member of the scientific council.
Isolation rules « are likely to evolve »
The scientific council also warned against the risk of « Disorganization » of society, due to the isolation and work stoppages of those tested positive and working « In strategic sectors » (food distribution, energy, transport, health, etc.). « We must avoid any phenomenon of paralysis in the country », reacted Thursday evening the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, adding that the rules of isolation « Will probably assess » in the next few days.
The High Authority of Health, for its part, recommended reducing the time to access the booster dose of vaccine, by reducing it to three months – it has been four months since this Friday.
The Omicron variant detected in Martinique
A first case of the variant was detected in Martinique, the regional health agency (ARS) announced on Friday. « This person was very quickly placed in solitary confinement », said Olivier Coudin, deputy director general of the ARS on the RCI antenna.
Investigations are underway to try to trace his contacts. The discovery of this case comes a week after ARS Guadeloupe reported the first contamination with the Omicron variant in the French Antilles.
In Martinique, where viral circulation has been high since July, and still reached an incidence rate of 167 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on Tuesday, the prefecture issued a series of recommendations on the eve of the end-of-year holidays . Martinicans are therefore invited to achieve « A self-test or a free antigen test », at « Give up hugs » or to “Avoid meals with vulnerable people”.
The curfew in place from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. is suspended for the night of Christmas Eve. Restaurant owners were, however, invited to close the doors of their establishments at 10 p.m.
Covid-19: a negative test of less than twenty-four hours necessary to go overseas
All people – vaccinated or not – wishing to go overseas must present a negative Covid-19 screening test result, whether PCR or antigenic, within 24 hours from Tuesday 28 December, the government said in a statement released Friday, December 24.
Heretofore, a negative test of less than seventy-two hours for a PCR or less than forty-eight hours for an antigen was required before departure. This more restrictive measure will apply to passengers traveling from mainland France or a foreign country, the text said.
« This measure is necessary in order to protect the overseas territories from the new epidemic wave under the effect of the Omicron variant and to limit the circulation of the virus in the context of a strong resumption of contaminations in France », specifies the government in its press release.
The bill transforming the health pass into a vaccination pass, presented on Monday, December 27 in the Council of Ministers, also plans to extend the state of health emergency until March 31, 2022 in Martinique and to declare it until the same date in Reunion. It is specified in the text that, « In the event of declaration of a state of health emergency in another ultra-marine community before 1is March 2022, this state of emergency will also apply until March 31, 2022 « .