Lunchtime News Monday 8th February 2021

News

The DGS announces new measures concerning variants in France - The Directorate General of Health the DGS has taken new measures in France to strengthen the current health protocol due to the increase of Covid variants. France’s General Health Director Jérôme Salomon, issued the regulations on Sunday, February 7th.  From now on all tests, antigenic or PCR that give rise to a positive result must now "be subject to a second-line screening RT-PCR, carried out within a maximum of 36 hours" to show the variant if any. The isolation period is extended from 7 to 10 days for patients affected by the South African and Brazilian variants and the health protocol is to be strengthened in schools for the South African and Brazilian variants, the closing of the class is automatically pronounced if a child tests positive, or if a child is "case-contact of a parent or sibling infected with one of the two variants”. The same principle applies to the teachers tested. Contact cases are to be tested without delay. Confirmed cases of patients with a variant and people at risk will be able to receive nursing help at home and will "systematically be offered a specific accommodation offer".

Monaco announces that working from home is compulsory from today - Meanwhile Monaco has announced that working from home is from today, compulsory. Following a press conference held by Monaco’s Ministry of State the government announced that measures are to be tightened to combat the spread of Covid which is particularly active in the Principality and in the Alpes Maritimes. The government therefore calls on companies to introduce working from home for a renewable period of 15 days. Every day, 45,000 people from France and 8,000 from Italy come to Monaco to work.

Homemade masks no longer accepted in French schools - From today, homemade masks are no longer allowed in schools in France. The new measure has been in effect since February 1st however, the Ministry of National Education left a few days for parents, pupils and staff to adapt.

Under the new health protocol put in place by the National Education to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, only category 1 fabric masks will now be authorized in schools (just like surgical masks). The only exception to the rule is nursery school children under 6, who are exempt from wearing a mask. It is up to parents to provide masks for their children and headteachers have the right to refuse welcoming a pupil without a mask unless there is a justified medical reason.

And wearing a mask is to become compulsory in several communes in the Var today, including Lorgues, Vidauban, Le Muy and Trans en Provence. The  municipalities affected by this new prefectural decree are: Ampus, Les Arcs, Bargème, Bargemon, La Bastide, Callas, Châteaudouble, Claviers, Comps-sur-Artuby, Figanières, Flayosc, Lorgues, Montferrat, La Motte, Le Muy, La Roque-Esclapon, Salernes, Sillans-la-Cascade, Taradeau, Trans-en-Provence, Vidauban, Saint-Antonin-du-Var.

The measure has already been applied to Draguignan since October 31st. The measure concerns anyone over 11 years old and concerns all public places, especially on public roads and public outdoor spaces. Offenders risk a fine of € 135 and, in the event of a repeat offense within 15 days, a fine of € 200 which may be increased to € 450.

Minister of Transport – According to France’s Minister of Transport the February holidays which began in some regions of France on Friday has seen fewer movements than at Christmas. The minister went on to say that police had already refused 700 people to board for lack of a compelling reason, and 600 for lack of a PCR test. The February holidays, which raise fears of increased circulation of the coronavirus, should ultimately result in "less movement " than those at Christmas.

Jean-Baptiste Djebbari also said that therte had been "more than 153,000 checks" at the borders carried out "in one week". To go abroad or come from abroad, the government imposes a negative PCR test and in addition a certificate of a "compelling reason" for countries outside the EU.

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