August 2, 2021

scientists divided on the possibility of removing the mask when the sanitary pass is required

Do we still have to wear the mask in a closed environment? The most visible symbol of the Covid-19 epidemic, it has not been mandatory outdoors since June 17 – except in some cities where local authorities have decided to impose it again this week – but remained until now still required in establishments open to the public indoors. A decree published Tuesday July 20 at Official newspaper now authorizes to remove it in places where entry is subject to the sanitary pass, that is to say during cultural or leisure gatherings exceeding the tonnage of 50 people and in places of culture such as cinemas, museums and theaters. A measure that baffles specialists in a context of exponential circulation of the virus. Its reproduction rate now reaches the value of 1.5, the equivalent of the peak of the second wave, in November.

When the health pass comes into effect, “You will no longer have to wear the mask” in these places, specified the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, Tuesday on RTL, “Except against the order of the prefects in the departments depending on the epidemic situation”. The decree specifies that “The operator or the organizer” of the gathering concerned may also impose the mask without prior agreement from the prefecture. This is also the choice made by several cinema operators such as MK2, UGC, Pathé Gaumont or Kinepolis.

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This is a measure “Uncertain”, according to Anne-Claude Crémieux, professor of infectious diseases at Saint-Louis hospital, in Paris, because contaminations are currently increasing too significantly and are starting to affect the hospital: daily admissions are on the rise there. by 40% in one week. “In public places where everyone is vaccinated, the risk of transmission is very low, because vaccination is a two-way protection, like the mask. But today, the health pass allows people with tests of less than 48 hours to access these places. We know that this delay risks allowing infected people to pass without knowing it ”, argues this member of the National Academy of Medicine. Especially since the data on the Delta variant show that it can be transmitted in a few minutes in a closed environment. So the combination of the mask and the vaccine remains, according to her, more careful.

Encourage vaccination

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