France tightens restrictions as Omicron prevails
France -France has announced to tighten Covid restrictions amid fresh concerns over the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.
It has been announced that from 3 January onwards, remote working will become mandatory for those who can. Meanwhile, public gatherings will be limited to only 2,000 people for indoor events.
A ban has been placed on eating and drinking on long-distance transport.
According to media reports, France recorded around 100,000 new infections on Saturday – the highest reported since the pandemic.
However, France’s prime minister did not consider the option of a curfew on New Year’s Eve.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the pandemic felt “like a film that had no ending” as he unveiled the tightened measures following an emergency cabinet meeting at a news conference.
It is pertinent to state that countries across Europe are considering tightened restrictions as infections from the new Omicron variant spread across the continent.
There are fears that a record number of cases will overwhelm hospitals in the coming weeks.
French Health Minister Olivier Véran said the infections doubled every two days, cautioning the public of a “mega wave” of new cases.
He announced that mask-wearing was compulsory in city centers.
Moreover, the government is also considering shortening booster shots from four months to three months.
On Wednesday, President Emmanuel Macron faced a heavy backlash from opponents and chaos in parliament. He said that French people who had not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 would be squeezed out of key aspects of life.
Macron was accused of overstepping the line with his remarks.
“As for the non-vaccinated, I want to piss them off,” he told Le Parisien newspaper, using the French verb “emmerder”.
It is derived from “merde”, meaning “shit”. The term is considered vulgar in France.