End of free Covid tests, booster doses: France announces new measures


The French government spokesperson announced a series of new Covid-related measures this afternoon (August 11), following a weekly Covid meeting involving President Emmanuel Macron and other senior ministers.

Covid-19 tests carried out without a medical prescription will no longer be free for French nationals and residents from mid-October, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said.

“We have decided to put an end to free tests without medical prescription, in accordance with the announcement made by the President of the Republic in his speech of July 12, and the choices made by many of our European neighbors,” he said. -he declares. .

Germany announced yesterday that it will end free non-medical Covid testing from October 11.

Mr Attal also said France will start administering third doses of Covid vaccines to those most at risk from mid-September, with bookings for appointments opening at the end of that month.

The category of eligible people must be defined by the French health authority, the Haute Autorité de Santé, said Attal.

In departments where the incidence rate of Covid – that is to say the average number of cases per 100,000 over the past week – is greater than 200, the wearing of a mask will be compulsory in places subject to health pass rules.

Masks are not required by national law in places where the health card system has been in place since July 21, although many places across the country have continued to require customers to wear them.

Mr. Attal also specified that in the departments having an incidence rate higher than 200, the health pass will be obligatory for the shopping centers of more than 20,000 m2. Previously, it was up to the commune prefects to decide whether the health pass was necessary for shopping centers.

It is mainly the departments of the south of France that will be affected, almost all of them having an incidence rate greater than 200.

The map below shows the incidence rate of the French departments. The departments colored in red have an incidence rate between 150 and 250, so some of them will be affected by these new rules.

Departments colored dark red (or brown) all have an incidence rate between 250 and 400, and purple departments have an incidence rate greater than 400.

The incidence rate of Covid in France, as of August 10, 2021 Pic: Covidtracker.fr

What is the French health pass?

The health pass is not a document but a means of proving that you do not have the Covid-19.

This is not limited to vaccination and showing your health card at the entrance of a place effectively means that you must show either:

These documents can be displayed in paper format, digitally, or via the TousAntiCovid phone application.

Typically, a QR code is attached to the document that site staff can scan to verify your evidence.

Related stories:

Checklist: Where and when should I use the French Covid health pass?

France extends the health pass: Rules for residents and tourists

Macron: Our Covid explosion abroad is cruel proof that vaccines work

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