Covid risk calculator: Going to a restaurant in Paris can carry up to 98 percent chance

Entering an enclosed space such as a restaurant in Paris with more than 50 people inside carries a 98 percent risk that someone will be positive for Covid, according to the online calculator from the data scientists behind Covidtracker.

Paris Bouillon Chartier
If you're in an indoor space with 50 plus people in Paris, there's a 89 percent risk that one of them will have Covid. Photo: Fred Dufour/AFP

As France reports more than 400,000 new cases in a single day, the data scientists behind the French Covidtracker site – which offers visual models and analysis of the French government’s data on Covid cases and vaccinations – have created an online tool that allows you to calculate your risk according to the area and gathering size.

The calculator works off the incidence rate – number of reported positive cases per 100,000 people – for each département and calculates the risk based on the number of people in an enclosed space.

This could include parties or events but also indoor restaurants and bars based on the total number of people – customers and staff – in the room.

ANALYSIS: How dangerous are France’s sky-high Covid rates?

Attending an event of 50 people or more in Paris has a 98 percent risk of there being at least one positive person. Screenshot: Covidtracker

Being in the same room obviously doesn’t mean that you will definitely catch Covid, but can result in an alert as a ‘contact case’ that requires testing or isolation, depending on vaccination status.

EXPLAINED What to do if you test positive or are a contact case

In Paris, where the incidence rate is currently 3,538 cases per 100,000 people, being in a room with 50 or more people carries a 98 percent risk that one of those people will be positive.

Even a room with 30 or more people – the capacity of all but the smallest bars and cafés – carries an 89 percent risk of a positive case.

Find the calculator HERE.

Across France, the risk of being close to a positive case is 85 percent in a room with 30 or more people. Although there are regional variations, even the more sparsely populated rural areas of France generally show around a 65 percent risk of being a contact case if you are in a room with 30 or more people.

The risk rate for Charente in a room with 30 or more people. Source:

France is still reporting extremely high numbers of daily cases as the Omicron wave continues to hit, with 464,769 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours.

The daily average case rate stands at 293,671 new cases per day, an 8 percent increase on the previous week, despite the number of tests being taken daily falling by 18 percent. France saw a huge spike in testing over the Christmas holiday as people were encouraged to take a test before travelling or visiting relatives.

Thanks to the high vaccination rate, the majority of adults who do contract Covid report mild symptoms, and hospitalisations are rising much more slowly than case rates – although they are still rising, with 26,526 patients in hospital with Covid, 3881 of them in intensive care. Across the country, 80 percent of Covid patients in intensive care are unvaccinated.

But the high case rates are still causing problems for the country as tens of thousands of people are forced to isolate while testing positive, causing staff shortages. 

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France scraps compulsory self-isolation after positive Covid test

France's public health body outlined how Covid-19 rules changed starting on February 1st, including an end to compulsory self-isolation after a positive test result.

France scraps compulsory self-isolation after positive Covid test

Starting on February 1st, Covid rules relaxed in France as the country brought an end to compulsory isolation for those who test positive for the virus.

However, those travelling from China to France will still be required to agree to a random screening upon arrival and to isolate in the case of a positive Covid-19 test result. Travellers aged 11 and over coming from China must also provide a negative test result (less tan 48 hours) prior to boarding and those aged six and over must agree to wear a mask on board flights. These regulations – which was set to last until January 31st – is set to remain in place until February 15th.

The French public health body (The Direction générale de la santé or DGS)  announced the change on Saturday in a decree published in the “Journal Officiel” outlining the various ways the body will loosen previous coronavirus restrictions.

READ MORE: What Covid rules and recommendations remain for visiting France?

Those who were in contact with someone who tested positive – ie a contact cases – will also no longer be required to take a test, though the public health body stressed that both testing after contact and isolating after receiving a positive test remain recommended.

Previously, even asymptomatic people who had been in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 were required to test on the second day after being notified that they were a “contact-case”.

These changes took effect on February 1st.

READ MORE: What changes in France in February 2023?

The DGS also said that website SI-DEP, which records test results, will remain in operation until June 30th, however starting in February it will only collect personal data with the express permission of the patient.

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Additionally, the French government announced that sick leave procedures for people with Covid-19 would return to normal starting February 1st – this means that those who test positive for Covid-19 now also have the three-day wait period before daily sick benefits are required to be paid, as is usually the case. Previously, people with Covid-19 could expect daily sick benefits to begin at the start of their sick leave period (arrêt maladie in French).  

READ MORE: How sick leave pay in France compares to other countries in Europe

Covid tests are still available on walk-in basis from most pharmacies are are free to people who are fully vaccinated and registered in the French health system. Unvaccinated people, or visitors to France, have to pay up to a maximum of €22 for an antigen test of €49 for a PCR test. 

If you recently tested positive for Covid-19 in France – or you suspect you may have contracted Covid-19 – you can find some information for how to proceed here.

In explaining the changes that began at the start of February, the French public health body also noted a drop in Covid-19 infections in the past month. As of January 30th, approximately 3,800 people in France had tested positive in the previous 24 hours for the coronavirus – which represents a decrease from the averages of 20,000 new cases per day about one month ago.