It is a busy week in terms of changes to Covid policy in France, with Wednesday marking the latest phase in the gradual relaxation of the rules.
Here’s what changes;
- Wider relaxation of Covid rules
A number of Covid rules are being scrapped, which will be of huge relief to those working in the nightlife and cultural sector.
Nightclubs will be open once again from Wednesday and cafés and bars will no longer be limited to table-service, meaning you will be able to drink at the bar and even have a boogie if you wish.
Concerts and music gigs can also take place once again.
People will once again be allowed to eat in cinemas and sports grounds, as well as on trains and planes.
You can find the full calendar of upcoming changes HERE.
Several other changes have already come into force this week;
- Vaccination centres told to show flexibility to unvaccinated
The health ministry sent a memo to vaccination centres on Monday, instructing them to allow people using fake health passes to wipe the record clean and initiate a real vaccination cycle.
Up until Monday, people using fake passes had 30 days to inform a vaccination centre and receive their shots without facing legal consequences.
This 30 day limit no longer applies – and those working at vaccination sites no longer need to inform law enforcement authorities of people who were using fake passes.
- Vaccine pass rules change
Booster shots are now necessary for most people who want to hold a valid vaccine pass – which is required to use a wide range of venues including bars, cafés, ski lifts and tourist sites.
Up until now, vaccine passes automatically deactivated if it has been more than seven months since your second dose and you have not yet received a booster shot. But on Tuesday, this time limit dropped to four months. Anyone who already had the booster is fine, even if their gap between second and third doses is more than four months.
Bear in mind that in certain circumstances, proof of previous infection from Covid means you would not have to receive a booster dose to carry on holding a valid vaccine pass.
You can still use proof of recent recovery from Covid in lieu of being fully vaccinated as a condition to hold the health pass. But instead of lasting for six months, the validity of recent recovery drops to just four months on Tuesday. Remember that you can receive a booster once three months have passed since your infection. Full details on how to use recovery certificates HERE.
Finally, when the government introduced the vaccine pass, it offered an incentive to unvaccinated people to receive their first shot by saying that anyone who received their first dose between January 15th – February 15th would be able to use a negative Covid test to access vaccine pass venues. This exemption ends on Tuesday and now the vaccine pass requires everyone to have a full vaccination course, with seven days after the second dose.
- Home-test kits withdrawn from supermarkets
Supermarkets are no longer able to sell Covid home-test kits (autotests) – you will now only be able to find these products in pharmacies. Over the New Year period, supermarkets were granted a license to sell these kits in order to allow for better monitoring of the fifth wave.
The maximum price of a Covid self-test is limited by the French government at €5.20, but many supermarkets were selling them for much cheaper prices.