“Where there is the” anti-Covid-19 health pass, people “will be able to remove the mask”, “unless there is an objection from the prefects in the departments depending on the epidemic situation,” the minister said on July 20 on RTL of Health, Olivier Véran, before the start of the examination of the law in Parliament during the day.
Read also: Holidays and covid: how to travel this summer with the health pass?
Case by case
According to the Minister of Health, the mask is no longer necessary because the health pass implies “that we are sure that all the people who return are completely vaccinated or have a very recent test which is negative”.
“The wearing of the mask can however be made compulsory by the prefect of the department when the local circumstances justify it, as well as by the operator or the organizer”, qualifies however the decree published Tuesday to formalize this measure.
This decree published in the Official Journal also lowers the tonnage to 50 people (against 1,000 previously) in places subject to the health pass. The latter will be payable in places of culture (cinemas, museums, theaters etc.) from Wednesday.
Employees who work in places subject to the health pass will have to keep the mask for now, said the Ministry of Labor.
“Wearing a mask remains the rule in business. As the pass is compulsory from August 30 for employees (places subject to the pass), it is not planned for the moment to remove it for these employees”, according to the ministry.
“A bad idea”
The end of the mask requirement for the public in these places “will improve the daily life of the French little by little,” commented Mr. Véran. Conversely, the highly respected epidemiologist Dominique Costagliola says she learned of this measure “with amazement”.
“It’s a bad idea,” she said on France Inter. “We should have belt and suspenders to try to fight this epidemic, and not remove certain measures when we put others in place.”
Vaccination does not prevent all Delta infections, Pfizer protects 85% of symptomatic forms and less for asymptomatic forms (Astra a little less).
We must maintain barrier gestures, vaccination is essential but it will not be enough.
– Rémi Salomon (@RemiSalomon) July 20, 2021
“This decision prohibits access to these places to 250,000 severely immunocompromised people, holders of the health pass, vaccinated three times, but at very high risk and poorly or not protected by vaccination, who can only rely on the masks worn by all “, for its part protested Renaloo, association of dialysis and kidney transplant recipients.
Cluster in Bordeaux
These reservations are expressed after the revelation in mid-July of a cluster of 81 positive cases in a Bordeaux club. This discovery has cast doubt on the effectiveness of health pass controls.
And under the effect of the Delta variant, which is more contagious, the epidemic is returning to France, to such an extent that the executive is now talking about a fourth wave.
At the national level, the daily average of new cases over the last 7 days is over 8,000, against only 1,850 at the end of June.