France has lifted most of its Covid-19 restrictions.
According to Reuters, the public will no longer have to wear masks in schools, offices and shops.
However, masks are still required on public transport, in hospitals and care homes for the elderly, France24 reported.
The unvaccinated will also be allowed to enter cinemas, restaurants and bars as the public will no longer be required to show proof of their vaccine status to enter such indoor venues.
Some healthcare workers call the move “premature”
Some of France’s healthcare workers have called the move “premature” however, and alleged that the decision is underpinned by politics, given that it is less than a month to the country’s presidential election.
In addition, France reported 18,853 new Covid-19 cases on Mar. 14, the day it lifted most of its restrictions, representing a week-on-week increase for the tenth consecutive time, Reuters reported.
The head of doctors’ union UFML, Jérôme Marty, was quoted by France24 as saying:
“It wouldn’t have bothered me if infections were falling, but clearly it’s not the case. Moreover, we’re dropping face masks without implementing any parallel measures to ventilate closed spaces and prevent viral concentrations. With the presidential campaign in full swing, the motive is clearly political, not sanitary.”
Marty also highlighted that the country still had five million people who were not vaccinated, and 300,000 people who were immunocompromised.
The head of France’s Scientific Council which advises the government on Covid-19 policy, Jean-Francois Delfraissy, also called for caution and urged people who are at-risk to continue wearing masks.
UK to remove all remaining travel restrictions from March 18
Mar. 14 also saw the UK announce that it will remove all remaining restrictions on international travellers, beginning on Mar. 18.
This means unvaccinated passengers will no longer need to take a pre-departure test and another test on the second day following their arrival.
All inbound passengers will also no longer be required to fill in a passenger locator form.
The move is part of the UK government’s “Living with Covid” plan, on the grounds that 86 per cent of the UK population have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine and 67 per cent have received a third dose or booster.
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