French Government Press Conference & Monaco Measures

The French government has decided not to impose a curfew on New Year's Eve. French Prime Minister Jean Castex and Health Minister Olivier Veran have been speaking at a press conference this evening after a special meeting of the French health defence council at the Elysees Palace. A gague for private parties is also not being introduced, the Prime Minister calling for people to be "responsible".

Jean Castex said that a new wave of Covid-19 is sweeping across Europe. He said that the current incidence rate is over 700 nationally in France which is the highest since the pandemic began. He went on to annnounce a series of new measures.

The time between the last vaccine and the booster dose will be reduced to three months from the current four months as from tomorrow.

A limit will be introduced for events, 2,000 people for indoor events and 5,000 people for outdoor events. Standing concerts will be prohibited. The measure comes into force on 3 January for a period of three weeks.

As expected, the Prime Minister announced the introduction of the vaccine pass under which a negative test would no longer be sufficient to obtain a pass. This measure is subject to the approval of parliament.

He said there will be no postponement of the return to school and no reintroduction of distance learning.

Drinking while standing will be prohibited in bars and cafes. Eating and drinking will no longer be allowed in public performance venues or public transport, including long-distance transport.

He also said that the government will increase the penalties for fraudulent use of the health pass.

Teleworking for at least three days a week, four days if possible, will be mandatory where possible from January 3.

The new duration of isolation for contact cases will be announced by the end of the week.

There will be the reintroduction of compulsory mask wearing in city centres. Prefects will work with local mayors to introduce this measure.

Health Minister Olivier Veran said that the Omicron variant is at least three times more contageous than the Delta variant.

Meanwhile, the Monaco government has announced specific measures for New Year's Eve. There is a prohibition on the sale of alcohol to take away after 8:00 p.m. There will be no celebrations at Place du Casino or Port Hercule at the passing of the New Year. All musical entertainment must end at 1 am. General measures which are in force, including on New Year's Eve include the prohibition of gatherings of more than 10 people on public roads, prohibition of alcohol consumption on public roads, no dancing and karaoke activities in establishments and no drinking while standing.