France will ease Covid-19 measures in February

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday that France will end its capacity restrictions on concert halls, sporting events and other events from February 2, as part of a gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions made possible by a vaccine pass that will be required for most public areas starting Monday. Face masks will no longer be needed outdoors from 2 February.

During a press conference on Thursday, Castex said that France’s general Covid-19 situation was beginning to change in a more favorable way, which made it possible to ease restrictions.

Castex also justified the relaxation of the restriction with France’s new vaccination pass for Covid-19, which enters into force on 24 January, subject to its approval by the Constitutional Council.

The Prime Minister added that the passport could even be withdrawn if the situation with Covid-19 improved dramatically.

Working from home is no longer required Working from home will no longer be required for qualified employees from 2 February. The French government had urged people to work from home three days a week, if possible, but Castex said that this guidance would be abolished and work from home would now be up to individuals and companies.

While working from home can be effective in reducing the circulation of the virus, it can also have a negative impact on the wider economy as large sections of the population stay away from commercial districts and shops.

Nightclubs reopenCastex also said on Thursday that nightclubs will be allowed to reopen from 16 February.

France is facing a fifth wave of infections and reported nearly half a million new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, leaving the seven-day average of 320,000 cases. However, the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care has stabilized, which gives the government some room for maneuver.

( Jowharwith REUTERS & AFP)

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