In France, the epidemic situation is improving further, with in particular less than 11,600 hospitalizations.

The end of wearing a mask outdoors, announced the day before by Jean Castex, comes into force Thursday, before the curfew is lifted on Sunday. 

The lifting of the compulsory wearing of a mask outdoors, announced the day before by Prime Minister Jean Castex, comes into force on Thursday.

The decline continues, and France had 11,519 hospitalizations on Wednesday, while 45 deaths were recorded in hospital.

The vaccination of adolescents against Covid-19 has been possible since Tuesday, with the aim of increasing the collective immunity of the French to face Covid-19 and the threat of new variants such as the Delta, which continues to progress in the Landes.

Information to remember:

  • Wearing a mask outdoors is no longer compulsory in France

  • The curfew will be lifted on Sunday

  • Less than 2,000 patients in intensive care

End of the obligation to wear a mask outside

Wearing a mask outside is no longer compulsory from Thursday in France, with certain exceptions, and the curfew will be lifted on Sunday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Wednesday in view of the drop in contamination.

Wearing a mask outside will no longer be compulsory from Thursday, except in certain circumstances such as gatherings, crowded places or stadiums.

In addition, the curfew ends Sunday at 6 a.m.

This decision was taken because the health situation "is improving faster than we had hoped", explained the Prime Minister after the Defense Council and the Council of Ministers.

But the improvement in the health situation is not the only reason that prompted the executive to announce the end of the restrictions 10 days ahead of schedule.

All the details in our article

The situation continues to improve at the hospital

The pressure of the epidemic continued to ease, with 11,519 patients with Covid-19 hospitalized, against 12,008 the day before, according to data from Public Health France, Wednesday. A total of 1,873 of them were in critical care units, which deal with the most serious cases, up from 1,952 on Tuesday. The arrival of new patients has slowed down sharply: 1,702 hospitalizations have been recorded in the last seven days, against 1,898 announced on Tuesday. At the end of May, this rate was still around 3,300 hospitalizations per week. 379 Covid patients have been admitted to intensive care in the last seven days, against 436 announced on Tuesday and around 900 only two weeks ago.

45 deaths were recorded in the hospital, bringing the toll since the start of the epidemic to 110,607 deaths.

3,058 new positive cases were also recorded, for a positivity rate of 1.4%, down from the previous day (1.5%).

A target of 35 million French people vaccinated by the end of August

More than a quarter of the French population is now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to figures released Wednesday by the Ministry of Health.

"16,953,092 people have a complete vaccination schedule", that is, they have received two injections, or only one if they have been vaccinated with Janssen's product (single dose) or if they have already had had the Covid before.

That's about 25.4% of the population (and 32.3% of the adult population), up from around 24.7% on Tuesday. 

The Ministry of Health announced Tuesday that the time between two injections of an anti-Covid vaccine with messenger RNA, Pfizer or Moderna, is reduced to a minimum of three weeks.

The stated objective is to vaccinate the French more quickly before leaving on vacation and to fight against the spread of the Delta variant, of Indian origin.  

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister set a target of 35 million French people fully vaccinated by the end of August.

He also wanted 85% of people over 50, and adults suffering from comorbidities, to have received at least one injection by this time. 

Mandatory vaccinations in Russia and Great Britain

Confronted with a "dramatic" situation, Moscow and its entire region have made vaccination compulsory in the service sector, a first in Russia in the face of an immunization campaign which is slipping and in the absence of any confinement.

The British government has meanwhile announced to make full vaccination compulsory for all people working in English retirement homes, including non-medical staff, after a wide public consultation.


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First disappointing results for CureVac's vaccine candidate

The German laboratory CureVac announced on Wednesday that its main candidate vaccine against Covid-19 had only shown an efficacy of 47%, according to the interim analysis of a large-scale clinical trial, and was not fulfilling at this stage the required criteria.

The vaccine "has reached a preliminary efficacy of 47% against Covid-19, regardless of its severity, not meeting the pre-specified statistical criteria of success," said in a statement the laboratory which signed a major contract for order with the European Union for this messenger RNA vaccine.

The EU opens up to American tourists

The ambassadors of the 27 countries of the European Union have given the green light to add the United States to the list of third countries whose travelers, even unvaccinated, can be admitted to the European Union.

This does not prevent travelers from these countries or territories from being subjected by the States of destination to measures such as tests, or even quarantine.

The EU also decided in May to allow vaccinated travelers from third countries

To draw up their list, the Europeans are based in particular on the epidemiological situation of the country and the progress of its vaccination campaign, the number of tests carried out as well as on the reliability of the data.

Countries can be included if they have recorded less than 75 cases of Covid per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.

In the United States the rate is 73.9, according to figures from the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC).

More than 3.8 million dead

The pandemic has killed more than 3,824,885 people around the world since the end of December 2019, according to a report established by AFP from official sources on Wednesday at 10:00 GMT. After the United States (600,652 dead), the countries with the highest number of deaths are Brazil (493,693), India (379,573), Mexico (230,428) and Peru (189,261). These figures, which are based on daily reports from national health authorities, are generally underestimated. The WHO estimates that the toll of the pandemic could be two to three times higher than that officially recorded.

South Africa recorded more than 13,000 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, the highest number of new infections in 24 hours in the past five months, according to official statistics. Officially the most affected country on the African continent, South Africa has nearly 1.8 million recorded cases, including 13,246 in the past 24 hours, and more than 58,000 deaths.