In Europe, politicians celebrate restoring normalcy for citizens.
In large European countries, centrist politicians believe that, as epidemiological conditions improve, coronavirus measures should ease.
From Monday, October 11th, primary school children in the majority of France’s departments — 68 of them — won’t have to mask. These are departments where the transmission rate has been below 50/100,000 for 5 consecutive days. On the map below, the dark green departments are where the obligation to mask at primary school will be lifted from Monday and the light green departments are where it was lifted on October 4th.
This might be surprising for some Americans to see, but centrist politicians in France — including this member of parliament from French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist La République En Marche! party — treat easing coronavirus measures as a win, not a political liability.
The MP says (translated):
As planned by Jean-Michel Blanquer, the Minister of National Education, from Monday the northern students will be able to remove their masks at school.
This is the result of everyone’s mobilization to reduce contamination from COVID 19. Thanks to the massive vaccination of northern citizens and the barrier gestures, our department has seen its incidence rate stabilize below the bar of 50/100,000.
In addition to the action taken to ease school mask rules, France is already beginning to plan for the easing of its “health pass” program, which is a domestic vaccine passport policy for most indoor public spaces. French Minister of Health Olivier Véran has explained that the logic of the country’s pandemic policy is to ease measures as epidemiological conditions improve.
“When the virus decreases, the constraints decrease.”