France: wearing a relaxed mask

The mask will no longer be compulsory in closed places subject to the vaccination pass from February 28 in France, with the exception of transport, the Ministry of Health said on Friday, highlighting the "improvement of the health situation".

Wearing a mask will therefore no longer be compulsory in establishments dedicated to leisure activities, restaurants, drinking establishments, fairs... On the other hand, it "will be maintained in transport and closed places not subject to the vaccination pass “, detailed the ministry in a press release.

Schools: France will lighten the protocol

The health protocol linked to Covid in French schools will be lightened upon the return from school holidays, with the abolition in particular of the wearing of a mask in the playground, the Ministry of National Education announced on Friday.

Protest convoys to Paris

Leaving from all over France, thousands of opponents of health restrictions took to the road on Friday in convoys, determined to reach the outskirts of Paris in the evening, despite the ban from the police headquarters and the firmness displayed by the authorities.

Inspired by the mobilization in Canada, the organizers denounce the vaccination pass and call themselves "Yellow Vests", a popular protest movement of 2018-2019 triggered by a rise in gasoline prices which had turned into a revolt against the President Emmanuel Macron.

Italy drops the mask outdoors

Italy took a step towards a gradual return to normality in the fight against Covid on Friday with the end of the obligation to wear a mask outside and the reopening of nightclubs.

The world facing the coronavirus Simon MALFATTO AFP

From this Friday, throughout the national territory, the mask is no longer essential in the open air, but you must always have one at hand to be able to wear it in the event of a crowd, even outside, specified the Ministry of Health.

The mask remains compulsory in closed places.

Germany: peak of infections “in sight”

The peak of Covid-19 infections, the number of which is currently at record highs, is “in sight” in Germany, assured Chancellor Olaf Scholz who is facing growing pressure to ease certain restrictions.

With variations between regions, these restrictions mainly concern restaurants, bars, cafes or so-called non-essential businesses, access to which is prohibited for non-vaccinated people.

More than 5.78 million dead

The pandemic has officially killed more than 5.78 million people worldwide since the end of December 2019, out of more than 404 million confirmed contaminations, according to a report established by AFP on Friday at 11:00 GMT.

People take pictures at the Roman Forum in the Italian capital on February 11, 2022 Vincenzo PINTO AFP

The United States is the country with the most deaths (915,617), ahead of Brazil (636,017) and India (507,177).

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, that the toll of the pandemic could be two to three times higher than that officially established.

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© 2022 AFP

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