Despite a record number of more than 200,000 new corona infections per day, France is shortening its quarantine periods. Fully vaccinated people only have to be quarantined for seven days from Monday in the event of an infection. Health Minister Olivier Véran announced this in the Sunday newspaper “Le Journal du Dimanche”. The quarantine can be shortened to five days with a negative rapid test or PCR test. For those who are not or not fully vaccinated, there is a quarantine of ten days, which can be shortened to seven days with a negative test. Contact persons who are not or not fully vaccinated must continue to be in quarantine for seven days.
Fully vaccinated contacts, on the other hand, no longer have to be quarantined from Monday, provided they test themselves every other day within six days. The relaxation of the rules should prevent a destabilization of social and economic life, stressed Véran. Because if all of France were in quarantine, the country would come to a standstill.
In England, older students are said to be wearing masks again in the classroom due to the rapid spread of the Corona variant Omikron. The provisional recommendation applies from the seventh grade, i.e. from around the age of twelve, as the British government announced on Sunday a few days before the end of the holiday. This should ensure that as many young people can attend school for as long as possible.
More than 160,000 new corona cases were recently reported in England. In the rest of the UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, a mask recommendation has long been in place in classrooms. In the UK, health policy is a matter for regional governments.
The United Arab Emirates imposed a travel ban on all citizens who are not vaccinated against the coronavirus. As of January 10, unvaccinated people will no longer be allowed to leave the country, the Foreign Ministry announced on Saturday. With a few exceptions, people who have already been vaccinated must also receive a booster vaccination before traveling abroad.
The Emirates vaccinated their population against the corona virus faster than almost any other country. At the end of November, the government announced that it had vaccinated all residents at least once. More than 90 percent were vaccinated twice. About a third of the population has received a booster vaccination.
Internationally there is concern that the common rapid tests may not recognize the new Omikron variant as well. Most of the corona rapid tests offered in Germany are, according to the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), also suitable for detecting the Omikron variant. The vast majority of the tests suggest a protein in the virus that is comparatively little affected by the omicron mutations. For a “final, qualitative and quantitative statement”, however, further investigations are required.
The US Food and Drug Administration previously announced that preliminary data from a live virus study from patients indicated “that antigen tests detect the omicron variant, but may have decreased sensitivity.” (APA / red)