France will close nightclubs before Christmas and tighten social distancing measures. The Prime Minister, Jean Castex, stated that the decisions come in response to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, but there is no need for new blockades or curfews.
As of Friday, nightclubs will be closed for four weeks, and the government also urged citizens to voluntarily restrict private and professional gatherings, tightening masks requirements in schools.
From December 15, children between the ages of five and 11 who are overweight or have a serious health condition will be offered access to the vaccine. Children over 12 years old can already be vaccinated, writes Reuters.
Castex said a fifth wave of the pandemic is now spreading across the country. But he says with 52 million people vaccinated now, almost 90% of those who qualify, the situation is better than in previous outbreaks and there is no need for drastic measures.
Health Minister Olivier Veran said the combination of booster vaccines and stricter social distancing would allow France to avoid the blockades currently being imposed in some European countries.
“We want to pass this wave of pandemics without new restrictions for the entire French population, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not,” he said.
Veran also said France had identified 25 positive cases of the Omicron variant, 21 imported by people returning from South Africa and the rest as a result of local infection.