In reaction to the unprecedented number of COVID-19 cases caused by the highly transmissible Omicron form, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced a slew of new measures on Monday evening to combat the epidemic.
New work-from-home rules, the extension of face mask mandates to all outside public areas in city centers, the closure of nightclubs, the reintroduction of attendance limits at some events, and the reduction of the time people must wait for a booster vaccine dose to just three months are among the measures.
In addition, a law is making its way through Parliament to convert France’s digital health pass into a vaccine pass, which will be used to restrict entrance to restaurants, cafes, and other public venues to persons who have been completely vaccinated. A recent negative test will no longer be accepted as an acceptable substitute.
Castex mentioned numerous other restrictions during his televised speech, including a prohibition on passengers on long-distance public transportation eating or drinking anything.
Castex did not elaborate on the hunger-inducing strategy, which is designed to prevent passengers from removing their face masks.
The food and drink prohibition is thought to be limited to trains, coaches, and buses, but it could be expanded to airplanes as well.
The rules will take effect on Monday and will remain in effect for at least three weeks.
The specifics of how these limits will be implemented have yet to be released. The rules may just apply to domestic travel or they may apply to all travel to and from France. More information is likely to be released in the coming days.
At the outset of the pandemic, several airlines prohibited the consumption of food and drink, while the vast majority of airlines reduced onboard service during the initial COVID-19 wave.
Food and beverage service has been mostly restored, while some aviation unions have asked for a quick rethinking of the Omicron threat.
Air France’s onboard service has mostly restored to pre-pandemic levels, and the carrier has made no indication that it will be obliged to stop serving food and drink on its flights as a result of the country’s new health regulations.
Airline passengers aged 11 and up are already required to wear a disposable surgical mask or an FFP mask under French pandemic laws. Masks made of cloth or with a valve are not permitted.