Sunday, in a note sent to all health professionals, the Directorate General of Health unveiled a series of new restrictive measures. Objective: to slow the spread of variants of the coronavirus.

The British variant is already responsible for 14% of new contaminations, but it is especially the South African and Brazilian variants, about which we still know very little, that worry. Four cases of the Brazilian variant have been reported on French soil: in the Var, Bouches-du-Rhône and in Réunion.

Isolation extended to 10 days

It is the circulation of these two variants that led the General Directorate of Health to strengthen barrier measures. From today, any person who tests positive, whether by antigen test or by PCR, will have to undergo a second “screening” sample test within 36 hours. This second test will identify whether it is a contamination by a variant and if so, which one.

In addition, patients who have been identified as affected by the South African or Brazilian variant, as well as their contact case, will have to observe an isolation period of 10 days, compared to 7 at present. At the end of the isolation period, people who test positive will have to take an exit test which will have to be negative, otherwise their isolation will be renewed for an additional 7 days.

Reinforced protocol in schools

New measures will also be implemented at the school. The rooms in this class must be ventilated every hour and no longer every two hours, groups of children must observe a distance of two meters from the canteen. In addition, if a student is infected with the South African or Brazilian variant, the entire class will automatically be closed. All the students, as well as the teachers who have been in contact with this class must be tested.

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The same protocol will also apply for contact cases. In other words, if a child is “identified as a contact case of an infected parent or sibling” by one of the two variants, the class will be closed. Ditto for teachers who would be identified as a contact case: their classes will be closed. Until now, in primary and secondary schools, classes were only closed after 3 contact cases in the same class.