Paris cancels New Year’s Eve fireworks as Omicron spreads, Up to 10% of new cases suspected to be Omicron

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Paris has cancelled planned fireworks as well as festivities on the Champs Elysees avenue on New Year’s Eve in line with new government rules to prevent the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, BFM TV reported on Saturday.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Friday major public parties and fireworks would be banned on New Year’s Eve and recommended that people – even if vaccinated – take a COVID-19 self-test before getting together for year-end parties.

The Omicron coronavirus variant is now suspected to be responsible for up to 10% of new confirmed COVID-19 cases in France and is the main reason behind plans for stricter health requirements for entering some venues, the health minister said on Saturday.

The new vaccination pass set to be introduced early next year will require people to show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants and long-distance public transport. Under the current regulations, a recent negative COVID-19 test is sufficient for entering many indoor public places.

Plans for the new pass were announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex on Friday. read more

Health Minister Olivier Veran, speaking on France Inter radio, also said that he expected that early next week the French health authority will give the green light to start offering coronavirus vaccinations to children aged 5 to 11.

For now, only children with serious health conditions or additional health risks can be given the shots.

Veran said that he hoped that voluntary vaccination for all children could start on Dec. 22.


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