The French government has announced a target of administering one million jabs of the Covid-19 vaccine by the end of January. Priority for the voluntary jab has been given to the elderly and healthcare workers, but it appears that a significant number of staff in the country’s carehomes are refusing to be vaccinated over fears they have of potential side effects. Cécile Andrzejewski has been speaking to carehome workers across France about their scepticism, which they say is based on past incoherencies and U-turns in government policy to the coronavirus epidemic.
France is ‘wearing Europe’s dunce cap,’ MPs have warned, while doctors have spoken of 'excessive precautions' in vaccination campaign.
A French man resident in Britain and who arrived this month in the town of Tours, west-central France, has been tested positive for the new variant of the coronavirus which is suspected of being particularly contagious, although it is still unkown if it causes more severe forms of Covid-19.
An anti Covid-19 vaccine developed by US pharma firm Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech has been approved for use in France by the country's top health authority, the Haute Autorité de la santé (HAS), with vaccinations due to start on a voluntazry basis on Sunday, with a priority given for those most at risk.
France has reopened its borders with the Britain – which were closed at the weekend due to fears over the spread of infections by a new coronavirus strain identified in England – on condition that travellers carry proof of testing negative for the virus, but the huge backlog of trucks that have been piling up around the normally busy port of Dover is expected to take days to clear.
Immigrants in France who were this year in frontline jobs during the coronavirus epidemic, including healthcare staff, shop workers and cleaners, are being offered fast-track French citizenship.
France is to reopen its borders with the UK, closed earlier this week over fears about the new variant of the coronavirus detected in England, but only to blocked truck drivers, French citizens and others resident in France, and on condition they present a negative result of a test for the virus, according to French media reports.
In their daily briefing on Wednesday, France's health authorities reported 26,676 new Covid-19 infections, bringing the total to more than 950,000, while 700 more people were hospitalised and another 163 died from the disease bringing the total to 34,048.
France has registered a steady buildup in numbers of corornavirus infections over recent days, which health authorities have described as 'very proccupying', while a slight rise in intensive care patients in hospitals suffering from the Covid-19 disease brought the total across the country by Saturday evening to 400.
After a post-lockdown record level of new coronavirus infections in France registered on Wednesday, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Thursday that the wearing of face masks to contain transmission of the virus is to be made a legal requirement in all public spaces in Paris, adding that 'The spread of the epidemic could become exponential if we do not react quickly'.
French education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has announced that every adult in all types of French schools, which are due to reopen at the beginning of September, must wear a face mask to limit transmission of the coronavirus, overturning an earlier decision to exempt teachers at primary schools from the requirement.
As new admissions of Covid-19 patients to hospitals and intensive care units continued on an upward trend in France over recent weeks, Prime Minister Jean Castex has appealed for 'a sense of responsibility' to encourage young aduts to observe social distancing and mask-wearing after widespread flouting of the measures during the summer holiday period.
Local health authorities have described as 'very worrying' a cluster of around 100 cases of Covid-19 infection at a holiday village for naturists at the Cap d’Agde resort on the Mediterranean coast of southern France.
It is the first time more than 4,000 daily cases have been seen in France since May.