Delta Dance

Yesterday evening French president Emmanuel Macron announced a package of measures to help France control a fourth wave of Covid cases, including stricter border controls, the extension of the health passport for more everyday activities and making the vaccine compulsory for all healthcare workers.

The president made the announcement in a live TV appearance as France faces a rapid increase in Covid cases driven by the delta variant. Although overall numbers remain low – a weekly average of 5,000 new cases a week – they are climbing rapidly and the more transmissible delta variant of Covid is now the dominant strain in France. At the start of the address, Macron said:

Our country is facing a surge in the epidemic across our territory, in mainland France as well as overseas.The situation is under control, but if we do not act now the number of cases will increase significantly and will lead to a rise in hospitalisations.

Urging everyone to get vaccinated as quickly as possible, the president laid out four main changes to the existing health policies.

Compulsory vaccines – from 15 September, the vaccine will become obligatory for health and non-health workers in hospitals, clinics, retirement homes, establishments for people with disabilities, for all professionals and volunteers who work in contact with elderly or vulnerable people, including in their homes.

Health Minister Olivier Véran later clarified that unvaccinated healthcare workers will not be able to work and will not be paid from 15 September.

Furthermore, Macron said that depending on the evolution of the situation, the government will probably have to consider obligatory vaccines for everyone in France as vaccination is the only path back towards a normal life.

Health passport extension – The pass sanitaire (health passport) will be expanded until it is required for entry to venues including cinemas, restaurants, cafés, bars, nursing homes and for long-distance train and bus travel.

The health passport – giving proof of either vaccinated status, a negative Covid test or recent recovery from Covid – is already in use in France via the Tous Anti Covid app, but at present is used only for large venues like concerts and sports matches. ( I used mine last night to gain entry to the Jazz at Juan concert.)

From 21 July it will be expanded to leisure and culture venues with more than 50 people such as cinemas, theatres and museums.

From the beginning of August – an exact date was not announced – it will be further expanded again for use to enter bars, cafés, restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes and for long-distance travel by coach and train.

Charges for PCR tests – In the autumn – no exact date was given – non-medical PCR Covid tests (currently free) will have to be paid for. This covers tests taken for travel purposes or for the health passport, but Covid tests taken for medical reasons such as for people with Covid symptoms or contact cases will continue to be free.

He did not specify how much the tests would be, but the cost of tests for non-residents of France is capped at €49.

Travel restrictions – Macron said the borders would be ‘reinforced’ with extra checks at the border and compulsory quarantine for unvaccinated people coming from high risk countries.

He gave no further detail on this and did not clarify whether ‘high risk’ referred to countries on the red list or orange list of France’s traffic light travel system.

Unvaccinated arrivals from red list countries are already subject to a 10-day quarantine, which is reinforced by police checks, but arrivals from orange list countries such as the UK are only asked to do a 7-day quarantine, which is not enforced.

State of emergency – The French overseas départements of Réunion and Martinique have been placed back under a state of health emergency from Tuesday, but for mainland France, no extra restrictions such as lockdown or closures were announced.

Covid case numbers in France, which had been falling steadily for many weeks, have in the past fortnight plateaued and begun to rise again.

Although the daily figures remain relatively low – a weekly average of 5,000 cases a day – health experts are concerned that the delta variant of the virus could drive a very rapid rise in case numbers, as has already happened across the Channel where the UK is recording 35,000 cases a day.

Data from the UK, which has a higher percentage of the population vaccinated than France, shows that hospitalisation rates are rising, but much more slowly than in earlier phases of the virus.

44 Comments on “Delta Dance

  1. Hi Sheree,
    Somehow I’d fallen off the “following” list and finally got it back; happy to read your posts again!
    We are scheduled to travel to France in 11 days and are following the news closely. Hoping to be able to do this trip — a short Viking cruise in Provence — but remain only cautiously optimistic. At least everyone on the ship has to be vaccinated, which is a good thing. Stay safe, Alisa

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I am really not sure how I feel about these measures and what will happen if they bring them into England, I fully support allowing countries to say if you are not vaccinated you are not coming in, but to say you can’t visit certain places in your own country unless you are vaccinated seems wrong to me, although it does depend whether France also enforces other vaccinations such as mumps, the flu etc

    Liked by 6 people

  3. I am exhausted from the anti-vaxxers and the COVID deniers that say this is a manufactured event. In the U.S. we have politicians that say if volunteers go house to house asking if the residents want to be vaccinated that 1) non vaccinated people will be forced to be vaccinated, 2) next they will go door to door confiscating weapons, and 3) then they will go door to door confiscating Bibles. It gets more bizarre by the day.

    Liked by 5 people

      • I’m not opposed to vaccine bribery and I’m not even against mandatory vaccinations for most people. I am against the blatant lies that some politicians tell to inflame the Base population that eats it up with a big spoon and then asks for seconds.

        Liked by 5 people

      • Last night, talk show hosts were discussing the GOP convention where the audience cheered the “below 70%” nationwide vaccination rate. #idiots

        Liked by 3 people

  4. I would be happy to carry a vaccination certificate, and happy if instructions were laid out more specifically for us in England. If you saw anything involving football you would assume we were back to normal! For customers, travellers and public to continue wearing masks in shops, on public transport and in hospitals seems logical to me.

    Liked by 5 people

    • You can get an NHS certificate evidencing your vaccination status snd I confess I’ve been a bit concerned at the lack of masks – Covid is an airborne virus – at recent events.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Yes, but they don’t have to be vaccinated they can change jobs. Don’t forget unemployment benefits are much more generous in France than US.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Change jobs? So if my passion in life is healing the sick, and I spent about 10 years of my life studying and working to get a medical degree, and many more years being a successful doctor and enjoying life, it’d be no problem to just throw that all away and go on unemployment? People in France might be good with that but me and most people in the U.S. wouldn’t even consider that! We’d equate that with being forced to take it or having our career destroyed. I also feel the government doesn’t have to pass a law saying you must take it to “force” you to take it. But if they pass laws saying if you don’t take it you can’t go to movies, get on a plane, or enjoy the regular freedoms vaccinated people have, they’re in effect forcing you by making your life miserable. But, that’s just my opinion. To each his/her own.

        Liked by 2 people

      • The issue in France isn’t so much the doctors and nurses, it’s mainly the workers in the care homes. Don’t forget as a medical professional you have a « duty of care » to your patients. You also have to bear in mind that Europe is very different to USA. Since Macron’s announcement, over 2 million have booked appointments for vaccinations. Of course, we’re both entitled to our opinions wherever we choose to live.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. 💜 I Love Observing this Political NoneSense Control Freak; there’s an Agenda Here and The End Game WILL!!! Be Interesting to Witness EveryOne

    …💛💚💙…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Despite nearly everyone here above 60 being vaccinated in Colombia the numbers of COVID deaths has skyrocketed. Something doesn’t make sense.
    I’m doing the Ivermectin prophylaxis. I commend those on being vaccinated, but noone should dictate what I put in my body nor is it their concern.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Some interesting comments, Sheree As was the President’s speech. I liked what he had to say.

    Here in the UK leaving the choice of mask-wearing up to the general public seems unfair to the vulnerable, after all, just when did the masses make sensible decisions, just look at the football fans!

    I can understand what the scientists are telling us and what the government is trying to achieve. If they allow the infections to rise and peak this summer the NHS is less likely to have problems in the winter when cases would be expected to rise rapidly along with the flu and other winter diseases, if that happened, then the hospitals would once again need to choose which illnesses to prioritise for hospitalisation and waiting lists will begin to soar. This is what they are trying to avoid.

    It’s a very new approach to handling the virus and one that can only be carried out because of the high number of people who are already vaccinated.

    No one knows whether the outcome of this new approach will be successful, but hopefully, by the time winter arrives the over eighteens (the chief spreaders) will have been vaccinated or will have had the disease and all new infections will lessen.
    Let’s us hope the vulnerable stay protected.

    There are some vaccinated people in hospital but mostly, all those affected are unvaccinated individuals.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s tricky judgment by individual governments. Obviously in Europe, it’s easier to cross borders than if one’s an island.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Very true.
        Interestingly, three of my teenage grandchildren recently contracted the virus after visiting London and one to the midlands as did their friends. They went on to spread it (before symptoms showed) to other groups of friends, but all the parents, who were all vaccinated remained Covid free.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Youngsters are generally less affected, but even so, they can suffer from debilitating Long Covid.
        I understand the logic behind this plan but I don’t necessarily support it.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I am sorry to hear that you are battling the fourth wave, Sheree 🙂 Unfortunately, a concerning increase in recent Covid-19 infections driven by the Delta variant indicates a fourth wave of the pandemic is now beginning in Ireland, too. The pandemic crises are far from over and here in Ireland, the pubs and restaurants are closed, people still wear masks everywhere they go, work from home where possible and we are not even allowed to travel outside of Ireland. Stay safe xxx

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I’ve been following this news via our National Public Radio. I just wish more of our citizens could be motivated to get the vaccine.

    Liked by 3 people

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