Towards new restrictions in January? The latest recommendations of the Scientific Committee

Published by Cécile D. · Photos by My B. · Published on 21 December 2021 at 15h35
The French government has decided to ignore recommendations from the Scientific Committee to enable the French to enjoy the Holidays. Are they taking the risk of aggravating the health situation forcing France to instate new restrictions from January?

During his latest address, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced a few extra restrictions, but not too constraining for the Holidays. “We have decided not to deprive all the French from liberties because five million of them are not vaccinated. I consider given the speed the Omicron variant spreads, gauges or closing venues would not have an impact as major as we could have had we less contagious variants”, Olivier Véran told Brut.

The Health Minister and his superiors assume ignoring recommendations of the Scientific Committee for the Holidays. The health body recommended in a report issued this December 16 the implementation of “significative restrictions” to stop the spread of the virus for the Holidays.

Among the likely measures, the Scientific Committee encouraged implementing a curfew on New Year’s Eve as well as “limiting collective activities”, reinforcing tests and quarantine for travelers from the French West Indies and reinforcing controls in the streets and hospital capacity.

In this same report, the Scientific Committee warns the government about the evolution of the epidemic in France: “The 6th wave caused by the Omicron variant will quickly settled and tirelessly continue the 5th wave caused by the Delta variant. This situation could pressure the healthcare system from mid-January and for several weeks”, the organization considers.

Should people be worried by these ignored recommendations as European neighbors are reinforcing their health measures? In the Netherlands, this Christmas will be held in lockdown; Ireland has implemented a curfew from 8 p.m. for pubs, restaurants and other closed places; while Denmark has closed all places of entertainment for four weeks.

Could the French government’s nonchalance cause a lockdown this Winter 2022 in France? This past December 2, on RMC, the head of the Scientific Committee said lockdown could only be used as a last resort. “Everything has been thought for the authorities to prevent lockdown, and from the scientists who will do everything they can to avoid a lockdown. But of course, it stays in the toolbox, and stays the last tool we have had to used at the beginning”, the expert promised.

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