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Rescheduled Paris marathon and half marathon cancelled

The 2020 Paris marathon - rescheduled for October after the first event was cancelled - has now been scrapped entirely, organisers have confirmed.

Rescheduled Paris marathon and half marathon cancelled
There will be no Paris marathon in 2020. Photo: AFP

The Paris half marathon was originally set to be run on March 1st but was cancelled at the last minute after all gatherings of more than 5,000 people were banned as the Covid-19 epidemic began to make itself felt in France.

The marathon was scheduled for April, but by then the country was on strict lockdown.

It was rescheduled for an autumn date, first October 18th and then November 15th, but on Wednesday organisers announced they were scrapping the 2020 event altogether to focus on the 2021 race.

 
“Faced with the impossibility for many participants to make themselves available and especially those many, coming from foreign countries and encountering travel difficulties, it was decided to give priority to the race in 2021,” the organisers of the marathon said in a press release.
 
“Alongside the City of Paris, we will do our utmost to offer you a next edition even more beautiful, worthy of the reunion of all enthusiasts with the streets of the most beautiful city in the world,” they added.
 
The half marathon, rescheduled for October, has also been cancelled.
 
 
 

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COVID-19

French government votes to allow return of Covid tests at border

The French parliament has passed the controversial health bill which updates France's emergency provisions for Covid - and allows the return of negative Covid tests for all travellers at the border, if the health situation requires.

French government votes to allow return of Covid tests at border

The Loi sanitaire was eventually approved by the Assemblée nationale on Monday after several variations and amendments added on its passage through the Assemblée and the Senate. It was voted on and passed Tuesday, May 26th. 

The bill replaces the State of Health Emergency that has been in place since March 2020 and puts in place provision for government actions should the health situation deteriorate or a dangerous new variant of Covid emerge.

The original text had a provision for the return of the health pass at the border, but this has now been scrapped and instead the government has the right to make a negative Covid test a condition of entry for all travellers.

At present negative tests are required only for unvaccinated travellers, and the new test requirement would only be put into force if a dangerous new variant emerges.

The government will be able to implement the testing rule by decree for two months, but a further parliamentary debate would be required to extend it beyond that.

From August 1st the State of Health Emergency will be formally repealed, which means that the government no longer has the power to introduce major limits on personal freedom such as lockdowns or curfews without first having a debate in parliament.

The bill also allows for an extension of data collection required for the SI-DEP epidemic monitoring tools such as the contact tracing app Tous Anti Covid until June 30th, 2023 and Contact Covid until January 31st, 2023. 

The most controversial measure in the bill was the reinstatement of healthcare workers who were suspended for being unvaccinated – this actually only involves a couple of hundred people but medical unions and the medical regulator Haut Autorité de Santé (HAS) have both been against it.

However the bill allows for the eventual lifting of the requirement for Covid vaccination for healthcare workers, when the HAS judges it is no longer necessary and once the requirement is lifted, the suspended healthcare workers will be reinstated “immediately”.

The bill was approved on Monday evening with 184 votes to 149, the result of a joint committee that was able to harmonise the versions of the Assembly and the Senate.

The final vote passed the Senate on Tuesday.

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