The French authorities announced the tightening of restrictive measures amid fears over the rapid spread of the “Omicron” variant.
Beginning January 3, remote work will become mandatory for those who can do so, at a minimum of three days a week and four days in a row when possible. Public meetings will be limited to two thousand people for indoor events. The new rules also include limits on outdoor public gatherings of up to five thousand people.
These measures will apply to sports arenas, but will not apply to political gatherings or worship services. Drinks and food will also be banned in cinemas, theaters and public transport, “including long-distance travel.” However, French authorities have not imposed a New Year’s curfew, Le Monde reports.
The news comes as more than 100,000 new cases of infection were reported in France on Saturday, the highest in the country since the pandemic began. “The whole thing is like a movie that never ends,” French Prime Minister Jean Castex acknowledged, calling the country’s health situation “extremely tense.” According to French Health Minister Olivier Veran, the number of coronavirus infections is doubling every two days. The minister warned of a “mega wave” of new infections. Jean Castex also announced a reduction in the time between injection and revaccination. Starting Tuesday, Dec. 28, three months after the previous COVID-19 injection or infection will be enough time to get a booster dose. Originally set at six months, that time frame has been shortened to five and in recent days to four months.