Another step towards normal life, perhaps resuming this summer.... As the Covid vaccination campaign goes on, including 30,374,473 people given the first dose of the vaccine as of today, when will we be able to remove our masks outside - a measure instated by many cities since the summer 2020?
A question many members from the government have been trying to answer as accurately as possible. On June 2, Emmanuel Macron said masks must stay compulsory in June, adding this measure could be lifted in a progressive way: he spoke about some places such as forests where the French could be officially allowed not to wear facemasks. Yet, as for crowded places, the head of state says this restriction will be lifted in a territorial-based fashion.
On Sunday June 6, Health Minister Olivier Véran addressed the matter: "what's sure is that until the end of June, in June, it's not about easing facemask-wearing outdoor on a nationwide level. What's sure is that we won't ask the French to weak masks a day more than necessary".
Yet, "if you're alone or there are a few of you in a very big space, very well aired like a beach, a mountain, a forest, a park, a desert street, there, we'll be quickly encouraged to alter facemask-wearing in this situation", he added before going on: "If the viral spread keeps on declining, it will be quickly considered".
To the general surprise, this Wednesday June 16, 2021, Jean Castex announced facemasks are no longer compulsory outside starting from Thursday June 17, 2021.
Careful though: this does not mean this is the end of facemask-wearing in a general way, but just outside and on the condition the health situation allows it. Facemask-wearing in closed places or within gatherings is to be kept for a while, until herd immunity is reached.
And what do experts think about it? On Europe 1, Lille University hospital doctor Philippe Amouyel considered facemask-wearing could be only ditched when France would have moved under the threshold of 5,000 contaminations per day and on the condition the vaccination campaign increases. More recently, Health Director General Jérôme Salomon speaks about July 1 as the date from which facemask-wearing outside could come to a close.
To track vaccination data in France on a daily basis:
Vaccination in France: How many people are vaccinated as of Saturday 16 October 2021
How many people have been given the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine in France? What are the regions vaccinating the most? This Saturday 16 October 2021, here are how many people have been given the first dose, and been fully vaccinated in France since December 27, 2020. Keep reading to find out more about the number of people vaccinated per region. [Read more]