France: government introduces shorter waiting time for booster jabs, new measures

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From Tuesday, the French will be able to receive their booster jab three months after full vaccination, prime minister Jean Castex announced.

However, there will be no curfew for New Year’s Eve.

Gatherings have also been limited to 2,000 people indoors and 5,000 outdoors, Castex said at a press conference on Monday following a government meeting to discuss further measures, as the country experiences record numbers of positive cases and hospitalisations.

Cafes and bars are allowed to serve seated customers only for three weeks starting with January 3.

“We are prohibiting standing concerts, and the consumption of food and drinks will be prohibited in all cinemas, theatres, sports facilities and public transportation, including long distance trips,” the French PM explained.

The measures also include a reintroduction of teleworking “whenever possible,” with a minimum of three days a week, Castex stated.

Castex said that schools will open as scheduled on January 3 and political rallies will not be concerned by the new rules for democratic reasons ahead of presidential election in April.

New rules on self-isolation for patients and their contacts will be introduced “by the end of the week”.

On December 25, the health authorities stated that the daily number of cases has surpassed 100,000, with 104,611 registered positives — a key milestone as Omicron spreads across France.

More than 16,000 people are currently hospitalised for COVID-19 in the Western European country.

The 3,000 ICU case limit set by the health officials has also been surpassed, with about 3,300 patients currently receiving treatment in ICU units across the country.

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The previous absolute record of 86,852 daily cases reached back in early November 2020, at the peak of the second epidemic wave, was previously surpassed on December 23, with 91,608 cases recorded.

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