France cuts COVID isolation to 7 days for vaccinated people

France is easing its isolation period for people infected with the coronavirus, the government announced on Sunday.

Starting Monday, COVID-19 infected people will have to quarantine for only seven days instead of 10 if they’re fully vaccinated, the country’s health minister Olivier Véran said in an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche.

Fully vaccinated people can also test out of quarantine after five days if they receive a negative rapid antigen or PCR test, Véran said.

Unvaccinated people will still have to stay in quarantine for 10 days, with the possibility of ending their isolation period with a negative test after seven days, he said.

The announcement follows similar decisions made recently in Greece, Spain, the U.K. and Ireland. The widespread move to shorten quarantines comes as the rapidly spreading Omicron variant causes concerns over worker shortages in key industries.

France has been hit particularly hard by the new COVID-19 strain, with more than 200,000 cases being diagnosed each day.

“It is very, very contagious,” Véran warned of the variant. “I had said that we could reach 250,000 cases per day by early 2022; we are there. When we know that we are going to cross the 10 million mark of French people diagnosed positive since the beginning of the pandemic, we understand the extreme contagiousness of Omicron.”

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