Changing the rules for testing and quarantine this summer – .

Changing the rules for testing and quarantine this summer – .

The Minister of Health Olivier Véran announced new plans to strengthen the screening, tracing and isolation measures currently in place in France.
The changes come as people are expected to travel for vacations over the summer, and as a case of the highly contagious Delta variant continues to increase in France – even if overall the cases are on the decline.

Read more: “The epidemic is receding rapidly”: positive news from Covid in France in figures

Talk to Sunday Newspaper on June 19, Mr Véran said about the new rules: “This summer will be different from last year, and certainly quieter for the French, because we have more tools at our disposal”

Self-test at the beach and other vacation destinations

Self-tests will be distributed free of charge on beaches, campsites, hotels and sports centers.

Mr Véran said the tests “would not replace PCR tests, nor antigen tests, but would add an extra string to our bow.”

Two million self-test kits will be made available in selected locations during July and August to enable safe vacation travel.

Another 500,000 will be delivered to the prefectures to be handed over to people in precarious situations.

Five million will be donated to recreation centers and summer camps.

Numerous tests will also be offered to schoolchildren before they leave on vacation, as well as to workers in the public and private sectors.

Sniffer dogs could soon be used

Sniffer dogs could soon be deployed to identify people with Covid-19.

The Minister of Health said: “We now have proof that the method works in real life thanks to the very promising results of the research teams of [university hospital] AP-HP.

“Wider use will come into effect this summer, if the latest results are conclusive. “

More staff for testing and contact tracing

Specialized Covid staff will be brought into selected locations to provide advice on testing, isolation and vaccination.

Mr. Véran said: “They will be everywhere; vacation sites, campsites and summer camps.

2,000 additional “anti-Covid workers” will help Health Insurance, which can administer tests and support people isolated at home to improve the contract tracing measures already in place.

Mr. Véran said: “Until the spring, contact tracing was only carried out for contact cases of an infected person. From the beginning of July, an in-depth study will be carried out systematically to understand who has been infected under what circumstances.

He specified that this “retroactive tracing” would go back as far as possible in the chains of transmission, especially for clusters of cases, and would involve agents of the Health Insurance and regional health agencies.

Stricter isolation monitoring

As the highly contagious Delta variant continues to be monitored in France, follow-up care for infected people who isolate themselves will also be stepped up.

The Minister of Health said: “If someone contaminated with the Indian [Delta] variant refuses to respond to the Health Insurance teams or to respect the confinement rules, the prefects will be alerted. They can take steps to isolate the individual.

He added that the new rules were introduced because “we cannot take the risk that there is a new wave of the epidemic”.

To this end, isolation centers will be created to accommodate people unable to isolate themselves because they live – or on vacation – with others in cramped conditions.

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