A number of COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in France on Monday, removing the need for face masks in most settings and letting people who aren’t vaccinated back into public venues like restaurants and sports stadiums, and other public places.
Earlier this month, the French government announced the move in response to the improvement in hospital conditions and a steady decrease in hospital infections over the previous weeks.
Scientists are concerned that lifting restrictions is too soon now that the number of new infections has begun to rise again since the restrictions were lifted.
According to a 7-day average, over 60,000 new infections have been reported, compared with about 50,000 for the previous week.
France, which has a population of 67 million, has a vaccination rate of more than 92 percent among people aged 12 and older.
As of Monday, there is no longer a requirement to show proof of vaccination for entering places such as restaurants and bars, cinemas, theaters, fairs, and to use interregional transport. The so called vaccination pass was instituted at the end of January.
People who have not been vaccinated are required to provide a recent negative test or proof of recent recovery to enter hospitals and nursing homes.
The use of masks in schools, offices, and businesses is no longer mandatory. But, at hospitals and other health facilities as well as on public transportation, masks remain mandatory.