Health Pass: the Scientific Committee's two recommendations to get out of the woods

Published by Alexandre G. · Published on 9 October 2021 at 09h11
As France is starting another months of restrictions because of the Covid-19 epidemic, the issue about keep the health pass in the long or medium run is on the executive's agenda. This Thursday October 7, 2021, the Scientific Committee addressed two different scenarios for a "quick and even immediate exit" or a "delayed exit" between November 15 and the end of the year. Keep reading to find out more.

When will the health pass be no longer needed in France? The Covid-19 epidemic is far from being over, Fall is here and Winter is just around the corner. To help the government come to a decision as for the ongoing restrictions, this Thursday October 7, 2021, the Scientific Committee delivered their latest recommendations on the matter. Two scenarios stand out: a "quick and even immediate exit" or a "delayed exit" between November 15 and the end of the year. 

What does each of this lead as told by the Scientific Comittee to put an end to the health pass in France involve? First scenario, the pending end of the health pass within the next two or three weeks, namely before November 2021. In a report made public this Thursday, the Scientific Committee insists on the fact this recommendation is based on the "viral circulation (that) remains low and downhill" everywhere in the country. If so, the end of the health pass would be "global or limited to some places where contamination risks stay at the lowest".

But, no change as for rules for the health pass in bars, restaurants, nightclubs or show venues, according to this option. No matter the evolution of the Covid epidemic in France, the scenario of a quick end of the health pass justifies through the "limited effectiveness of the health pass as a protective measure", scientists explain. A quick lifting of restrictions would enable "to prevent normalization of the health pass and associated controling measures", and "to respond to a certain number of societal/democratic questions about the use of the health pass while trusting citizens". About 70,000 French were still out on the streets this past Saturday to protest against the implementation of the health pass.

Preparing the end of the health pass between November 15 and the end of the year

The second scenario addressed by the Scientific Committee: considering the end of the health pass between November 15 and the end of the year 2021. Doctors and specialists consider that a "waiting phase [is needed] to prepare the end of the health pass in secured conditions" which would enable to "limit risks and if need be the extent of a new wave in December-January".

Before recommending this scenario, scientists first wish to keep a close eye on the Covid-19 predictions in France and the main data. First, they need to "consolidate the decline in the incidence for the next coming weeks", then "check the lack of effects caused by school start". Then, the Scientific Committee recommends to increase vaccination of the most vulnerable people with a third dose. Without forgetting to check at the same time if the "decline noticed in the vaccinal protection against the infection over time goes stable". This option is only possible if the government can "enjoy the agreement of a large part of the population with the health pass", which is still not the case according to surveys.

The only unknown still unresolved: the colder temperatures, the return of Fall and the fear winter season. The preparation leg of the second scenario would have the asset of buying more time for the vaccine campaign which could also enable to know the consequences of climate change better on the evolution of the epidemic. It seems the government has confirmed their will to keep the health pass and rule for the second option: namely "active prudence".

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