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Reader question: Do I still have to self-isolate in France even if I am fully vaccinated?

Being fully vaccinated gives you various benefits - apart from the obvious one of protection from developing the most serious forms of Covid - but do you still need to follow the rules on self-isolation in France?

Reader question: Do I still have to self-isolate in France even if I am fully vaccinated?
Photo: Loic Venance/AFP

In France if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid, or you are alerted to being a contact case by the Covid-tracker app, then you should get a Covid test.

You may also have to self-isolate, but this will depend on the outcome of the test as well as your vaccination status.

If you test positive

Whether you are fully vaccinated or not, if you test positive for Covid in France, you need to self-isolate for ten days.

If you are symptomatic, this means ten days from the day your first symptoms appeared, although if if you have a persistent fever you should stay self-isolated until at least 48 hours after the fever abates.

If you don’t have any symptoms, the ten days are counted from the date you tested positive, but if you develop symptoms, you will have to wait another ten days from the moment you noticed symptoms.

Contact cases

If you have been in contact with somebody who has tested positive for Covid, you should self-isolate for seven days from the last time you saw that person, and you should also take a test.

If you test is negative, you should take another test on day seven of in order to be able to stop self-isolating. If either test is positive, you will need to isolate for ten days from the day of the test.

You can find a full explanation of self-isolation rules here.

Employees who are required to self-isolate and whose job cannot be done from home are entitled to an arrêt de travail that ensures they will continue to be paid while they are isolating – you can download this from your Ameli account.

But what about people who have had both doses of the vaccine?

Previously, even people who were fully vaccinated were advised to self-isolate, but the rules have since changed.

If you are a contact case, you should still take an antigen test in a pharmacy (although you can also take a PCR test).

If the test is positive, you will need to isolate for ten days, as above. However, if you test negative, there is no need to self-isolate, although you are advised to wear a mask indoors and outdoors.

In that case, you should take another test seven days after your last contact with the person who tested positive. If this test is negative, you can carry on as normal, and if it is positive you will have to isolate for ten days.

And in schools?

When schools restart in September there will be a new four-step protocol which in most cases means that fully vaccinated pupils will not be sent home if a classmate tests positive, but unvaccinated pupils will. Full details HERE.

Health passports

Being fully vaccinated does give you other benefits, too. Apart from the fairly big advantage of a much lower risk of getting seriously ill or dying from the virus, you can also enter a range of venues like museums, bars and cafés using the French health passport.

Fully vaccinated travellers can also travel freely within the EU using the EU health passport.

What if you break the rules?

As part of the law which extended the use of the health pass to venues including bars and restaurants, the government also planned to enforce strict isolation periods for those who test positive. This would have meant those people could only have left the house during certain windows, and would have been subject to police checks.

However, France’s Constitutional Council rejected the measure, judging it an infringement on people’s freedoms. Therefore, whether you have tested positive or are simply a contact case, these rules are only guidelines.

Member comments

  1. We are an American couple with full-time French residency, and have our pass sanitaire, as well as a Carte Vitale If we travel to the United States and get break-through COVID. Will our French health insurance pay the medical bills?

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Monkeypox in Germany: Two teens ‘among new infections’

Two teenage boys between the ages of 15-17 have reportedly been infected by monkeypox, as the number of cases in Germany continues to grow.

Monkeypox in Germany: Two teens 'among new infections'

German news site Spiegel Online first reported the new cases – which are an anomaly for a virus as it has mostly affected gay men – following an inquiry to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). 

They are among a total of 2,677 people who are confirmed to have contracted the virus in Germany to date. There have not been any fatalities.

Out of these, only five cases were women, according to the RKI. The public health institute said that it does not release information on individual cases.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How Germany wants to contain the monkeypox

The disease – which is not usually fatal – often manifests itself through fever, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion and a chickenpox-like rash on the hands and face.

The virus can be transmitted through contact with skin lesions and droplets of a contaminated person, as well as through shared items such as bedding and towels.

Many of the cases known so far concern homosexual and bisexual men. However, affected people and experts have repeatedly warned against stigmatising gay communities.

How fatal is the disease?

The first monkeypox cases were reported in Germany on May 20th, as the disease continued to spread in West Europe.

At the weekend, the first two deaths outside of West Africa were reported in Spain.

READ ALSO: WHO warns ‘high’ risk of monkeypox in Europe as it declares health emergency

The RKI has urged people returning from West Africa and in particular gay men, to see their doctors quickly if they notice any chances on their skin.

According to the latest estimates, there are 23,000 monkeypox cases worldwide, and Europe is particularly affected with 14,000 cases.

There have been 2,677 monkeypox cases in Germany as of August 2, 2022. Photo: CDC handout

About eight percent of patients in Europe have been hospitalised so far, reported the World Health Association on Monday, mostly due to severe pain or additional infections.

In general, the mortality of the variant currently circulating in Europe is estimated to be low.

READ ALSO: More cases of monkeypox ‘expected’ in Germany

Will a vaccine make a difference?

Since July, a vaccine has been authorised in 27 EU member states and in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. 

The Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) recommends vaccination against monkeypox in Germany for certain risk groups and people who have had close contact with infected people.

So far, the German government has ordered 240,000 vaccine doses, of which 40,000 had been delivered by Friday. 

Around 200,000 doses are set to follow by the end of September. 

The German Aids Federation (DAH) on Friday called for one million vaccine doses, stressing that the current supplies will fall short of meeting need.

“The goal must be to reduce the number of infections as quickly as possible and to get the epidemic permanently under control,” explained Ulf Kristal of the DAH board in Berlin on Friday.

But this is only possible, he said, if as many people at risk of infection as possible are vaccinated.

“We don’t assume the epidemic will be over when the doses available so far have been vaccinated,” Axel Jeremias Schmidt, Epidemiologist and DAH Consultant for Medicine and Health Policy, wrote in a press release.

As long as there are monkeypox infections, he said, people who are at risk must be offered vaccination.