Monday, May 10

Covid-19: the scientific council endorses the health pass under conditions

For the scientific council, the establishment of a health pass could help reduce the risk of Covid-19 contamination during large gatherings, but certainly not make it disappear. In a notice to the government, made public Tuesday, May 4, the experts note the interest of the device in a strategy of “Risk reduction”, while stressing that this one will have to stay “Temporary and exceptional” in view of imperfect scientific knowledge on the risks of transmission.

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The measure must be examined in the National Assembly from May 10, during the debates on the bill relating to the management of the exit from the health crisis. An amendment tabled by the government gives the Prime Minister the possibility of making access to gatherings of more than 1,000 people conditional on the presentation of a recent negative PCR or antigen test, a certificate of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19 . The text also proposes to impose it when crossing borders from and to the national territory, from the beginning of June.

By giving an indication of the low risk of contagiousness to people at the entrance to a festival or a leisure park, the health pass “Can allow the population a form of return to normalcy by minimizing the risk of contamination”, writes the scientific council. The conditions surrounding this possibility are drastic: need to wear a mask, maintain barrier gestures and significant ventilation in closed places, even if physical distancing can be a little less strict outside – “Where it is now accepted that the risk of contamination is very low”, specify the researchers.

Feeling of “false security”

“This is not an absolute key to security, insists Frédéric Altare, immunologist and research director at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm). People must not make the mistake of saying to themselves: “We have a valid pass, we stop the barrier gestures because we are 100% guaranteed not to transmit”. As long as everyone is not vaccinated, we are not there yet. “

As early as December, the scientific council had warned about a possible feeling of “False security” on the occasion of the end of year celebrations, remembering that “Negative virological tests, in particular antigenic tests, given their lower sensitivity, do not rule out an infection” then the transmission of the virus. A person who tests negative could, moreover, be contaminated after a sample and before the control of the sanitary pass.

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