Limits on the number of people allowed in shops, restaurants and cinemas to stop the spread of Covid-19 have been scrapped in most of France as of Wednesday, although parts of the south-west have chosen to maintain some measures due to concern over the spread of the Delta variant.
Public events in France will no longer be limited to 1,000 people, whether indoors or outdoors, but attendees will have to show a complete vaccination certificate, a negative test result, or proof of recent infection with Covid-19.
Meanwhile the spread of the virus, which had been decreasing, has now stabilised – with the Delta variant accounting for 20 percent of new cases, according to government spokesperson Gabriel Attal.
The overall number of cases is at its lowest since August 2020.
In the Landes region in southwest France, limits will remain on the numbers of people in shops, restaurants, cinemas and public places, because of “weak collective immunity” in the area.
Delta gaining ground
About 45 percent of new cases in the region have been identified as the Delta variant, first detected in India, and is more contagious than previous strains.
Seven virus clusters have been detected in businesses or retirement homes in the area, Didier Couteau of the regional health authority for western France explained during a video press conference.
An unvaccinated carer has been blamed for one of the retirement home outbreaks.
Health minister Olivier Véran said recently that if 80 percent of health and care home staff are not vaccinated by September, the government will consider making vaccination compulsory for such workers.
Meanwhile, the doctor who heads President Macron’s Coronavirus advisory panel, said a fourth wave of the Covid-19 virus was likely in France this autumn.
Increase in vaccination bookings
“I think we’ll have a fourth wave but it will be much more subdued than the three previous ones because vaccination levels aren’t the same,” Pr. Jean-François Delfraissy told France Inter radio on Wednesday.
One third of the population is fully vaccinated but Gabriel Attal on Wednesday announced an increase this week in the number of people booking vaccinations.
The next stage in the lifting of restrictions in France should see nightclubs re open on 9 July.