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Restaurants, festivals and crowds: What changes in France on Wednesday?

Wednesday, June 30th marks the fourth and final stage of France's plan to lift lockdown - so what changes?

Restaurants, festivals and crowds: What changes in France on Wednesday?
Photo: Ian Langsdon/AFP

On May 3rd France began a four-stage journey towards lifting lockdown and on Wednesday that journey reaches its final stage.

All stages have been contingent on the health situation but at present, despite concerns about the increase of the Delta variant, health trends in France are still going in the right direction with case numbers and hospitalisations continuing to fall.

READ ALSO Is France heading for a Delta variant surge like that in the UK?

What changes?

Some of the things that were originally scheduled for June 30th have already happened – the curfew was lifted 10 days early on June 20th and the requirement to wear masks outdoors was scrapped on June 17th, although there are still plenty of places where a mask is compulsory.

The main change on Wednesday is that decisions on a range of issues are passed back to local authorities, rather than being set by the government.

Although venues like bars, cafés, theatres and cinemas have already reopened there are limits on how many people they can accept while bars and cafés are limited to 6 per people table with a ban on bar service.

This could now change, but the final decision is down to the local authority, based on the health situation in their area.

So we could be heading back to a range of localised restrictions that mean you can have dinner or drinks with 7 friends in one area, but only 5 friends in another.

In fact on Wednesday, one local authority in south west France announced that it is delaying stage 4 until at least July 6th.

Concerts – concerts and live music events are currently only allowed if the audience is seated, but from June 30th that restriction is scrapped and standing audiences are allowed again. Events that have more than 1,000 people in the audience will require a health passport to enter, providing proof that you are either fully vaccinated, have recently recovered from Covid or have received a negative test in the past 72 hours.

Full details on how the health passport works HERE.

Festivals – the standing audience rule means that festivals can also go ahead – with a health passport – although several of France’s bigger summer festivals have already been cancelled.

Nightclubs – nightclubs stay closed for just a little longer, but reopen on July 9th. Entry will be with a health passport.

Large crowds – indoor events have previously been limited to 1,000 people, but this limit lifts on Wednesday, although entry to events of more than 1,000 people will be with a health passport.

Travel – not actually part of the French reopening plan, but on Thursday, July 1st, the EU health passport comes into effect to make travel around the Bloc easier – find out how it works HERE.

Member comments

  1. It is not the final stage! you still are forced to wear that silly mask in many places even when you are vaccinated, yet you can sit down in a restaurant without a mask, because apparently when you eat you can not get covid. A logic rule would be chewing gum or a mask, the choice is up to the individual, as is vaccination. Final stage……. It is final when I have my freedom back, don’t have to be vaccinated for certain bennefits, don’t have to walk around with a useless mask.

  2. So don’t go to places where you have to wear a mask if it’s that important to you. Bingo! Free at last! That was easy, wasn’t it?

    It’s a question of respect for others to wear them when required, but you’re the one that matters…

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COVID-19

Public Health Agency recommends two Covid doses next year for elderly

Sweden's Public Health Agency is recommending that those above the age of 80 should receive two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine a year, once in the spring and once in the autumn, as it shifts towards a longer-term strategy for the virus.

Public Health Agency recommends two Covid doses next year for elderly

In a new recommendation, the agency said that those living in elderly care centres, and those above the age of 80 should from March 1st receive two vaccinations a year, with a six month gap between doses. 

“Elderly people develop a somewhat worse immune defence after vaccination and immunity wanes faster than among young and healthy people,” the agency said. “That means that elderly people have a greater need of booster doses than younger ones. The Swedish Public Health Agency considers, based on the current knowledge, that it will be important even going into the future to have booster doses for the elderly and people in risk groups.” 

READ ALSO: 

People between the ages of 65 and 79 years old and young people with risk factors, such as obesity, diabetes, poor kidney function or high blood pressure, are recommended to take one additional dose per year.

The new vaccination recommendation, which will start to apply from March 1st next year, is only for 2023, Johanna Rubin, the investigator in the agency’s vaccination programme unit, explained. 

She said too much was still unclear about how long protection from vaccination lasted to institute a permanent programme.

“This recommendation applies to 2023. There is not really an abundance of data on how long protection lasts after a booster dose, of course, but this is what we can say for now,” she told the TT newswire. 

It was likely, however, that elderly people would end up being given an annual dose to protect them from any new variants, as has long been the case with influenza.

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