Covid-19: faced with the Omicron variant, a decisive week for the government

The party is over. It was brief. If not non-existent for some of the French. And undoubtedly concerned for the Head of State. Barely 48 hours after a Christmas disrupted by the sudden arrival of the latest variant of Covid-19, Omicron, Emmanuel Macron is once again required to submit to an agenda dictated by the pandemic. From the fort of Brégançon (Var), his holiday resort, he must, from Monday December 27 afternoon, hold a council of ministers by videoconference, in the wake of a health defense council.

Far from preparing, as planned, for the French presidency of the European Union and his next candidacy for the presidential election on April 10 and 24, 2022, the President of the Republic had to decide. In front of the « lame de fond » Omicron, which is superimposed on the wave of the Delta variant, do we have to erect walls? Should gauges be re-established in shops and places of conviviality? Close bars and restaurants? Reinstate a curfew? If so, when and for how long?

To deal with the fifth wave of the epidemic and the Omicron variant, the executive insists on the most consensual solution, considered the least painful, that of forced vaccination. During the Council of Ministers, the bill aimed at transforming the “health pass” into a “vaccine pass” should therefore be examined: to go to cafes, bars, restaurants or theaters, a negative test for Covid- 19 will no longer suffice.

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The law, which could enter into force in the week of January 10, 2022 after examination in Parliament, would be accompanied by additional protective measures inspired by what is done in Germany. A reinforced pass requiring an up-to-date vaccination schedule coupled with a negative test could be required in places to be defined. For now, the government is not considering it in bars and restaurants, but for places with a large population.

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Unless it includes, by way of amendment, the pass in companies against the will of the unions, the text is unlikely to arouse an outcry, neither on the left nor on the right. “It’s the easiest thing to surf opinion movements. In the Senate we have always held a line of responsibility to protect the French, but also a requirement to strengthen control of Parliament. On this last point, we cannot say that the government has always listened to us! « , underlines the senator of Vendée Bruno Retailleau (Les Républicains, LR). Finally, to avoid the dreaded economy paralysis, the isolation constraints – seven to seventeen days – applied to contact cases could be relaxed.

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