No Lockdown For France Despite Rise in Covid-19 Cases
7th December 2021
Last modified on December 10th, 2021
France has ruled out another lockdown or curfew for the time being despite the number of cases of Covid-19 in the country soaring. Some measures have been tightened.
The French government has said reintroducing these tough measures would be disproportionate, though some new restrictions have been announced.
The good news for the ski resorts with the busy Christmas and New Year period approaching is that there are no limits on numbers allowed in bars, cafes and restaurants.
However, people are being urged to delay their Christmas parties and other social events until after the current wave of the virus.
The main points:
- Nightclubs to close for a month from Friday 10th December
- Public urged to limit gatherings over the holidays
- Covid health passes required to eat outdoors in reserved zones at Christmas markets
- Stricter rules on masks in schools
- Working from home is encouraged
- The Over 65s can get vaccine boosters without an appointment
- Vulnerable children aged 5 to 11 can get the vaccine from 15th December
The French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, gave the details at a news conference.
He said the virus was spreading across France but the situation was not the same as last year.
“This fifth wave requires measures of vigilance because the virus is circling at speed,” he said.
But he added that a lockdown or curfew at this stage would be disproportionate.
The move has been welcomed in the Alps.
“We’re excited to be welcoming tourists back again,” said Sara Burdon from the Morzine tourist office.
“The resort and slopes are ready and we’re looking forward to a winter season without too many restrictions.
“The Christmas entertainment is all being planned to offer guests a special Christmas holiday while respecting all necessary safety protocols,” Sara added.
At the end of October on PlanetSKI we looked ahead to what the resort had to offer this coming winter.
Testing remains an issue for many so the Morzine town hall and pharmacies have worked together to already offer over 1500 tests per day, and we are told they are ready to have more centres ready if needed.
The fifth wave is forecast to peak in January at the earliest.
The US government has advised its citizens to avoid travel to France because of the rise in Covid-19 cases and the threat of the new Omicron variant.
The average number of cases of each day in France is now at more than 42,000 compared to less than 28,000 a week ago.
On Saturday it was reported that there had been 50,000 cases in the previous 24 hours.
More than 2,000 patients are in intensive care with the virus in France, with the total number in hospital in excess of 11,000.
The new measures come as ski resorts are gearing up for the winter and is welcome news for many.
PlanetSKI was in Val Thorens as the resort opened for the season at the end of November.
And we will be in neighbouring Les Menuires in Les3Vallees next week so look out for our reports from the slopes.
A series of storms has dumped plenty of early season snow and the resort is looking very appealing.
France is currently seeing 447 confirmed cases per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.
The figure is 170 in Italy.
The lockdown continues in Austria with some impact on cases numbers.
It has fallen to 571 in Austria.
Austria saw 956 confirmed cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people on Thursday 18th November when lockdown was announced. It rose to a high of 1,110 before falling sharply.
Austria comes out of its national lockdown at the end on this weekend.
In Andorra it is 1,965 with the rate at 152 in neighbouring Spain.
In Scandinavia it remains at 459 in Norway, 163 in Finland and 129 in Sweden.
The UK is on 488 confirmed cases per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.
For details of new Covid-19 restrictions in Switzerland and Italy see our separate story on PlanetSKI:
Towards the end of November we explained the rules in France as the government announced that a health pass would be needed to buy a ski pass:
If you want to know all the details and requirements in France then the BBC has posted a very useful article explaining the current situation:
It also covers the ski nations of Italy, Spain, Germany and the USA.
Main photo: © Keith Dawson
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