Start of the Health Defense Council, a press conference with Castex and Véran at 7 p.m.


Prime Minister Jean Castex and Minister of Health Olivier Véran will give a press conference at 7 p.m., after the Health Defense Council which began at 4 p.m.

No truce for confectioners in the face of the Omicron outbreak: the executive is mobilized on Monday to hasten the transformation of the health pass into a vaccine pass, but also to decide on new measures in the face of the meteoric surge of the new variant.

President Emmanuel Macron will hold by videoconference from Fort Bregançon, his resort in the Var, a Health Defense Council dedicated to Covid-19 at 4:00 p.m., one hour before the exceptional Council of Ministers which must adopt the bill establishing the vaccination pass. A press conference will then be given at 7 p.m., with Prime Minister Jean Castex and Minister of Health Olivier Véran.

Also read: Health Defense Council, increase in child hospitalizations in New York … an update on the coronavirus

More than 100,000 new cases were recorded on Saturday

Four days before the New Year, the government could make several announcements after these two emergency meetings. And the question of new restrictions, already adopted by several neighboring countries, arises, while the number of contaminations explodes.

More than 100,000 new cases were recorded on Saturday, a record since the start of the pandemic, and the incidence rate exceeds 700 cases per 100,000 inhabitants nationally.

In the opposition, some, like the LR presidential candidate Valérie Pécresse, demand to postpone the start of the school year scheduled for Monday, January 3. About fifty caregivers support, in a forum at the JDD, such a measure « given its proximity to the New Year’s festivities, with recourse to distance education until the return to thresholds of publicly defined health indicators ».

Others plead for a curfew on December 31, even if several scientists estimated Monday that such a « one-off measure, just on a day or on an evening, is not really of interest », according to the epidemiologist Pascal Crepey on Europe 1.

One of the avenues studied by the government is the reduction of the isolation period for contact cases of a person positive for the Omicron variant, currently from 7 to 17 days, provided they have a complete vaccination schedule.

With this measure, the idea is to avoid the paralysis of the country, while the multiplication of work stoppages could cause the « possible disorganization of a certain number of essential services », according to the Scientific Council. More than 2,100 flights were still canceled by airlines across the world on Monday, the Omicron variant disrupting travel during the holidays with pilots sick or in quarantine.

In France, several rugby, basketball and volleyball championship matches have also had to be postponed in the face of the growing number of cases within the workforce. The obligation to wear a mask outside could also be reinforced, like the decree issued by the prefect in Savoy requiring people aged eleven and over to wear a mask, including outside, in places with more than 10 people, such as markets, theaters, etc.

The executive relies first on vaccination

But more than ever, the executive is focusing first on vaccination. This is the objective of transforming the health pass into a vaccination pass. Initially scheduled for entry into force at the end of January, the bill, presented on Monday in the Council of Ministers, will be examined in committee at the National Assembly from Wednesday, before going to the Senate from January 5.

Its implementation is scheduled for January 15, according to the text consulted by AFP.

In detail, it transforms the health pass into a vaccination pass « for access to leisure activities, restaurants and drinking establishments, fairs, seminars and trade shows or even interregional transport », particularly by rail.

The only presentation of a negative test would however remain valid « for access to establishments and health and medico-social services ».

One year to the day after the start of the vaccination campaign and the first injection of vaccine in Mauricette, « nearly 90% of the eligible population is fully vaccinated », welcomed Prime Minister Jean Castex on Twitter on Monday, welcoming  » the mobilization of a whole human chain « .

Some 22 million French people have already received a booster dose, or more than half of the 40 million eligible people.

However, the pressure continues to mount on hospitals with 16,365 people currently hospitalized, or 506 new admissions in 24 hours, while the Omicron variant will undoubtedly become the majority in France this week and is probably already in Ile-de-France. , said epidemiologist Dominique Costagliola on Monday on France inter.

Faced with the emergency, the High Authority for Health (HAS) recommended Friday that the booster dose can be performed from three months for the eligible population.

For its part, the Ministry of Health announced that the deadline would be reduced to 4 months from now – until then it was 5 months after the last injection – and not from January 3 as initially envisaged.

In its opinion, the HAS also recommended the administration as of now of a booster dose in 12-17 year olds suffering from immunodeficiency or a serious risk comorbidity.

© Agence France-Presse

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