Of course, we wondered whether we had been wise to cancel our trip to the UK. One couple travelled by train from Paris to the UK uneventfully.
But then we heard other reports. One family flew from a south Asian country to the UK. Clear to fly, their day 2 test revealed that all the family were infected. They would spend most of their two-week visit in quarantine. Another family travelled from France and one child tested positive for covid on day 2. Another family has a child stranded in the UK because he tested positive and was not cleared to fly to their home in Southern Europe for Christmas.
Yesterday the government met to discuss the rise of the omicron variant and announced new measures.
A limit of 2000 people meeting indoors and 5000 outdoors.
Masks must now be worn in all city centres. (The local Prefect had already imposed this in Bordeaux)
No eating or drinking stood up - everyone in cafés, bars and restaurants must be seated. (I thought this was already in force!)
No eating or drinking in theatres, cinemas or concert halls. This is to ensure that people stay masked.
No eating or drinking outside in the city centre (see above).
They want to avoid people crowding together unmasked and so transmitting the infection by droplets. French scientists are pretty convinced of aerosol transmission.
This means that people can still gather for New Year, though the government had already asked us to refrain from house-warming parties (crémaillères) and from leaving do's (pots de départ). I would think that it is wise to ensure everyone is seated, not crowded together and most of all, to ensure the room is aired periodically. The government recommends about 10 minutes every hour or so.