Covid risk calculator: Going to a restaurant in Paris can carry up to 98 percent chance

Entering an enclosed space such as a restaurant in Paris with more than 50 people inside carries a 98 percent risk that someone will be positive for Covid, according to the online calculator from the data scientists behind Covidtracker.

Paris Bouillon Chartier
If you're in an indoor space with 50 plus people in Paris, there's a 89 percent risk that one of them will have Covid. Photo: Fred Dufour/AFP

As France reports more than 400,000 new cases in a single day, the data scientists behind the French Covidtracker site – which offers visual models and analysis of the French government’s data on Covid cases and vaccinations – have created an online tool that allows you to calculate your risk according to the area and gathering size.

The calculator works off the incidence rate – number of reported positive cases per 100,000 people – for each département and calculates the risk based on the number of people in an enclosed space.

This could include parties or events but also indoor restaurants and bars based on the total number of people – customers and staff – in the room.

ANALYSIS: How dangerous are France’s sky-high Covid rates?

Attending an event of 50 people or more in Paris has a 98 percent risk of there being at least one positive person. Screenshot: Covidtracker

Being in the same room obviously doesn’t mean that you will definitely catch Covid, but can result in an alert as a ‘contact case’ that requires testing or isolation, depending on vaccination status.

EXPLAINED What to do if you test positive or are a contact case

In Paris, where the incidence rate is currently 3,538 cases per 100,000 people, being in a room with 50 or more people carries a 98 percent risk that one of those people will be positive.

Even a room with 30 or more people – the capacity of all but the smallest bars and cafés – carries an 89 percent risk of a positive case.

Find the calculator HERE.

Across France, the risk of being close to a positive case is 85 percent in a room with 30 or more people. Although there are regional variations, even the more sparsely populated rural areas of France generally show around a 65 percent risk of being a contact case if you are in a room with 30 or more people.

The risk rate for Charente in a room with 30 or more people. Source:

France is still reporting extremely high numbers of daily cases as the Omicron wave continues to hit, with 464,769 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours.

The daily average case rate stands at 293,671 new cases per day, an 8 percent increase on the previous week, despite the number of tests being taken daily falling by 18 percent. France saw a huge spike in testing over the Christmas holiday as people were encouraged to take a test before travelling or visiting relatives.

Thanks to the high vaccination rate, the majority of adults who do contract Covid report mild symptoms, and hospitalisations are rising much more slowly than case rates – although they are still rising, with 26,526 patients in hospital with Covid, 3881 of them in intensive care. Across the country, 80 percent of Covid patients in intensive care are unvaccinated.

But the high case rates are still causing problems for the country as tens of thousands of people are forced to isolate while testing positive, causing staff shortages. 

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Where in France do you still need a face mask?

In France, masks will no longer be required on indoor transport as of Monday, May 16th. Here are rules and recommendations that are still in place:

Where in France do you still need a face mask?

Members of the public in France have been asked to wear face masks for the most part of two years, at times even outside in the street.

Since March 14th, 2022, the facial coverings have no longer been mandatory in most establishments such as shops, and as of Monday, May 16th, it will no longer be mandatory on indoor public transport. 

As of May 16th, you will therefore no longer be required to wear a mask in the following transports:

  • Buses and coaches
  • Subways and streetcars
  • RER and TER
  • TGV and interregional lines
  • Taxis

Regarding airplanes whether or not you must wear a mask is a bit more complicated.

On Wednesday, May 11th, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced that from May 16th onward it would no longer be required to wear a mask in airports and on board aircraft in the European Union. However, Germany has stated that it does not have the intention of lifting its requirement of wearing a mask on its airlines – this would include the Lufthansa airline. Thus, it will be necessary for passengers to still very to rules each airline has in place, which could be the case when travelling to a country that still has indoor mask requirements in place.

EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky specified that vulnerable people should continue to wear masks, and that “a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, to reassure those seated nearby.”

Masks still obligatory in medical settings

However, it will still be mandatory for caregivers, patients and visitors in health care facilities, specifically including hospitals, pharmacies, medical laboratories, retirement homes, and establishments for the disabled. 

For people who are vulnerable either due to their age or their status as immunocompromised, wearing a mask will continue to be recommended, though not required, particularly for enclosed spaces and in large gatherings.

Masks are also still recommended for people who test positive, people who might have come in contact with Covid-19, symptomatic people and healthcare professionals.

Will masks come back?

It is possible. French Health Minister Olivier Véran does not exclude the return of mandatory mask-wearing, should the health situation require it.

What are the other Covid-19 restrictions that remain in place?

The primary restriction that has not changed is the French government’s regulation for testing positive: If you are unvaccinated and test positive, isolation is still required for 10 days, if you are vaccinated, this requirement is seven days. Isolation can be reduced from 10 to 7 days or from 7 to 5 days if a negative covid test is performed, and symptoms are no longer present.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What Covid restrictions remain in place in France?

The French Health Ministry still recommends following sanitary measures such as: wearing a mask in places where it is still mandatory, hand washing, regular ventilation of rooms, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and using a single-use handkerchief (tissue).