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Covid-19 in Paris: Paid tests, the health pass, masks…what’s about to change and when?

There have been improvements on the Covid-19 front. Health indicators have been improving in France since summer vacation ended. “We are on the right track,” says Health Minister Olivier Véran. However, the virus continues to circulate, infect and kill. 7,994 patients are currently hospitalized, including 1,577 people in intensive care. 14 people died on Sunday. And 4,706 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported within 24 hours. On the vaccination front, we reached the milestone of 50 million initial doses ten days ago.

In the next few weeks, several changes are expected with regards to vaccinations, the health pass and mask-wearing. Here are the most important points:


September 30: Mandatory health pass for 12 to 17-year-olds


Starting Thursday, teenagers from age 12 years and 2 months will need to present a health pass to access cinemas, restaurants, and extracurricular or sports clubs where these passes are normally required. They must present proof either of complete vaccination against Covid-19 or a negative Covid test taken within the past 72 hours. 62% of 12-17-year-olds were fully vaccinated as of September 23, according to Santé Publique France.


October 4: The end of masks in classrooms in certain departments

Beginning October 4, mask-wearing will no longer be mandatory for elementary schools in departments where the incidence rate is less than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants for five consecutive days. The health protocol will revert to level 1, which means a higher level of protection in public establishments.


October 13: Health pass extension bill 

The requirement of the health pass is in effect at least through November 15, 2021. It should be extended beyond that date. According to the Prime Minister’s cabinet, a bill to this effect will be presented to the Council of Ministers on October 13. The extension will be debated in parliament in the coming weeks.


October 15: Free testing ends

Covid-19 tests will be fee-based as of October 15. Vaccinated individuals will continue to receive free testing without a prescription or for medical reasons. Non-vaccinated individuals will need to provide a medical prescription. Test prices: €43.89 for a PCR test, €25 for an antigenic test. The tests will remain completely free for minors.


October 16: Healthcare workers must show proof of completed vaccination 

Covid-19 vaccination has been mandatory for healthcare workers, firefighters, ambulance drivers, nursing home staff, and medico-social workers since September 15.  By this date, they should have received at least one dose of vaccine. Starting October 16, they must present proof of completed vaccination to their employer, unless they have a medical contraindication or proof of recovery from the disease less than 6 months old. Failure to do so will result in suspension.


Start of November: travel to the United States possible

Travel to the United States will be permitted beginning in early November. The exact date has not yet been determined. Passengers will have to show proof of vaccination or present a negative Covid test taken within three days before boarding. Restrictions on international travel have been in place since March 2020.


Adapted from original article:

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