France sees spike in COVID cases just as free testing for unvaccinated ends

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PARIS (Reuters) – France saw the biggest spike in new coronavirus infections since the end of July on the last day of free testing for unvaccinated people, health ministry data showed. 

The ministry reported 6,099 new cases over the past 24 hours, an increase of 36% compared to last Friday’s 4,470 cases. 

From Friday, people who have not been vaccinated have had to pay for COVID-19 tests, which so far had been free in France. Tests will remain free of charge for people who have been vaccinated, for people who show symptoms and have a doctor’s note, and for minors between 12 and 17.

Epidemiologists have said fewer case could be uncovered and the tally could be skewed down from Saturday, when Friday’s data is published.

But, given that access to many public places and for air and train travel rely on the a health pass showing people are vaccinated or have a recent negative test, it is not yet clear how much of an impact the move will have.

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