Another step towards normal life, perhaps resuming this summer.... As the Covid vaccination campaign goes on, including over 15 million people given the first dose of the vaccine, when will we be able to remove our masks outside - a measure instated by many cities since the summer 2020? A question Olivier Véran tried to answer to this May 4 in the morning on Europe 1, explaining he hopes it will happen "this summer".
A statement that arrives as many scientists agree to say the contamination risk is lower outside. "The control over the epidemic discreetly improves, but we shall not relax too quickly. Therefore, the lockdown exit calendar is a very good schedule", the Health Minister goes on. Everything will depend on the advance of the vaccination campaign: "We know vaccination protects from severe infections and we think it protects from the spread of the virus and therefore from the epidemic risk. When there will be enough French vaccinated, we might be able to consider to let our guard down", he says.
He goes on: "When the date that will enable us to serenely consider the end of the health guidelines and the end of facemask-wearing outdoors will have arrived, we will not wait for 24 hours. We will tell so right away. And I sincerely hope it will happen this summer". Yet, careful though: it does not mean this is the end of facemask-wearing in a general fashion, only outdoor, on the condition the health situation allows to do so. Facemask-wearing in closed places or within gatherings could be instated for a while, until herd immunity is reached.
For the record, still today, facemask-wearing is compulsory outside in many cities and departments in France. Therefore, since November 16 in Marne, mandatory facemask-wearing has been extended to May 3, according to a prefectorial decree in cities originally concerned (Reims, Tinqueux, Cormontreuil and Betheny) because of a strong incidence rate in people aged 65+. Same thing in Lyon, Paris, and even Yvelines, where it is still compulsory.
But other cities have decided to put an end to this measure. This is the case in Vassy, Calvados, where facemasks are no longer compulsory outdoors since December 2nd. The city of Saint-Amand-Montrond has also made this measure lighter because indicators have decreased well. In Nice, facemask-wearing is no longer compulsory on the beach since May 4, 2021.