compulsory health pass, mask, rules

The health pass is required at the entrance to all Christmas markets. Wearing a mask outdoors is decided according to each department. 3rd dose, test, gathering, recommendations, health protocol … What are the rules and restrictions for the Christmas holidays?

[Mis à jour le 25 novembre 2021 à 18h08] The epidemic situation is not looking good as the end of the year holidays approach. This forces the government to take several measures. For Christmas markets, their access will be subject to the health pass, announced Olivier Véran on November 25 during a press conference. The mask is again compulsory indoors in places open to the public, even those where the sanitary pass is required. It is the prefects who will be empowered department by department to make it compulsory to wear a mask outdoors for events such as Christmas markets or even flea markets, he clarified. If we want to save the end of the year celebrations, we need a collective mobilization, warned Gabriel Attal Wednesday, November 24 at the exit of the Council of Ministers. Jean-François Delfraissy, President of the Scientific Council, warned on Monday that the 5th wave was going to have “a significant impact“by the end of the year, with”not easy weeks around Christmas“. To fight against this epidemic peak, “the vaccine will not be enough, we will have to put back restrictions”. So can the 5th wave ruin the holidays? How to safely celebrate Christmas? Should we get vaccinated? Get tested? Have a health pass for midnight masses? Christmas markets? What barrier gestures should be observed? Should we expect the same scenario as in 2020? Answers.

What are the restrictions for the Christmas holidays?

“I will not announce any confinement, no curfew, no early closure of businesses, or restriction of movement”

The establishment of a maximum number of diners or the establishment of a curfew or a travel restriction are not planned, said Olivier Véran at a press conference on November 25, 2021. “I will not tell you confinement, no curfew, no early closure of businesses, no travel restrictions insisted the minister. “We had confidence in the responsibility of the French last year and we were right. The French have made a lot of effort, they now know this virus, they know how it is transmitted, they are very careful, especially when they are with fragile people and vulnerable “, he detailed Tuesday, November 16. “Let’s say that if we are at the top of a very strong fall-winter wave during this period, the recommendations will be to stay at home and avoid social interactions as much as possible. But we are not there“, adds Professor Antoine Flahault, director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), in the columns of the Parisian. The measures may however be adapted according to the evolution of the health situation in France.

Is the health pass compulsory at Christmas markets?

Compulsory health pass to access the Christmas markets

“For Christmas markets, their access will be subject to the health pass“, said Olivier Véran on November 25 during a press conference. The sanitary pass is therefore required in all Christmas markets in France. However, with exceptions. A Strasbourg, the health pass will only be compulsory to eat to access the “food courts” (the only areas where visitors can eat), which “meets the government’s request”, the municipality said on November 25. According to this device, validated by the Bas-Rhin prefecture and the town hall. Other health rules are also in place. Wearing a mask is once again compulsory indoors, even in places where the sanitary pass is required. Outside, it is the prefects who will be empowered “department by department to make it compulsory to wear a mask for events such as Christmas markets or even flea markets“, clarified Olivier Véran. In all cases, the protocol will be adapted according to the incidence rate.

Do I need a health pass for midnight masses?

Midnight masses or Christmas vigils take place in many towns and villages in France. For the moment, no information has been transmitted concerning the obligation to present a health pass for midnight masses. According to the official decree, the health pass is only compulsory in “establishments of worship when they host cultural activities (concerts, shows)”. So a priori, Masses are not affected by this obligation.

Can we gather at Christmas with more than 6 people?

To date, it is possible to meet in a private place (at home …) for the Christmas holidays without maximum gauge. Nevertheless, the Health Insurance always recommends limiting “professional, friendly or family groups to 6 people maximum “. The measures may also be adapted according to the evolution of the health situation. In a notice of November 20, 2021, the Scientific Council recommends limiting gatherings.

Should we wear a mask at Christmas?

In the private setting, wearing a mask is not compulsory but is strongly recommended, especially when the distance cannot be respected. Wearing it is one of the barrier gestures. Wearing a mask is compulsory on Christmas markets, as well as indoors in places open to the public and even those where the health pass is required. It is the prefects who will be empowered department by department to make it compulsory to wear a mask outdoors for events such as Christmas markets or even flea markets “, clarified Olivier Véran.

Should you get vaccinated before Christmas?

“Christmas may not be difficult because of the Covid, but because of the flu.”

“Today there is no reason to think” that the Christmas holidays take place as in 2020. Yes, but on condition “that the immunity conferred by the vaccine continues and therefore that eligible French people recall their vaccination”, insists Gabriel Attal on November 16 on France Inter. If people are properly vaccinated, Christmas will be almost normal this year. reassures Eric Caumes, head of the infectious and tropical diseases department at La Pitié Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, during an interview with L’Express. The flu worries me more : Christmas may not be difficult because of the Covid, but because of the flu. There is a real risk of an influenza epidemic this year. It hasn’t been for the past two years so people have forgotten about it. If there is a message to convey, it is: Get vaccinated against the flu ‘, especially for Christmas. My other concern concerns the difficulties encountered in hospitals due to the lack of staff and the lack of available rooms. The conjunction of these three phenomena, the Covid, the flu and the worries in the hospitals, means that there may be problems in the coming weeks. ”

Do I need a 3rd dose?

The booster dose is mandatory (to keep your health pass) for people over 18 years old. From December 15, the health pass will therefore be deactivated for people over 65 and for people vaccinated with Janssen, who have taken their second dose. more than 6 months, 5 weeks ago and who have not made their recall. From January 15, 2022, the health pass will be conditioned on the third dose for 18-64 year olds.

Should I get tested?

It will be possible to achieve a preventive test before a family reunion

A priori, getting tested will not be mandatory to meet for the end of the year celebrations. But like last year, it will always be possible to achieve a preventive test before a family reunion. But since October 15, so-called “comfort” tests are no longer reimbursed. Unvaccinated adults without a prescription must now pay the minimum sum of 44 euros for a PCR test, 22 euros for an antigen test and 12.90 euros for a self-test carried out under the supervision of a professional.

  • Symptomatic people (cough, fever) should see a doctor who will order a PCR or antigen test.
  • Asymptomatic people who have not respected the barrier gestures or who have been in contact with a symptomatic person can take a test ideally between 48h and 24h before reuniting with their loved ones.

Attention : test results are only validat the moment we are taken. One can very well be tested negative on Christmas Eve and be contaminated between the sample and the time to reunite. A negative test does not therefore replace compliance with barrier gestures.

Is confinement recommended before the holidays?

In 2020, the Scientific Council recommended the use of preventive self-containment for people who have planned to spend the end of the year holidays with people at risk (the elderly or frail people). The idea was to limit his contacts as much as possible one week before December 24 or 31. In 2021, the Scientific Council and the government have not yet decided in favor of self-containment.

What barrier gestures during the Christmas holidays?

Barrier gestures are still relevant today and must be respected. The objective is to limit as much as possible the risks of contamination for people who are going to celebrate the end of year holidays together. Thus, to reduce the risk of transmission, it is necessary to:

  • Respect barrier gestures during gatherings with friends and family gatherings, such as keeping a physical distance of one meter when possible, washing hands very regularly, avoiding hugs and promiscuity to minimize risks. Avoid kisses to say hello or thank you for the gifts!
  • Ventilate interior spaces regularly (the ventilation time depends on the volume of the room and the air renewal)
  • Adapt the seating plan for the meal by spacing out the guests with a greater distance for people presenting the greatest risk because of their age or comorbidities.
  • Wear the mask, as far as possible
  • Regularly clean common surfaces such as door and drawer handles, switches, dining table, taps and sanitary facilities …
  • Wash one’s hands after opening the packages or using hydro-alcoholic gel.

What were the rules for Christmas 2020?

In 2020, the end-of-year celebrations were marred by the Covid-19 epidemic. Prime Minister Jean Castex in particular recommended to the French to limit meals to 6 adults at the table, notably on New Year’s Eve and Christmas Day. Se get tested against Covid-19 before family reunions or gatherings with friends was recommended. A curfew was also in effect.

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