Covid-19. Masks, passes… All you need to know about the new health rules as of August 1, 2022

On Tuesday, July 26, 2022, Parliament adopted a bill which puts an end to the health pass and other exceptional measures against Covid-19 on August 1. We explain to you.

Published: July 30, 2022 at 11:17 a.m.

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Parliament definitively adopted on Tuesday July 26, 2022, by a final vote of the Senate, a bill which explicitly puts an end to the health pass and other exceptional measures against Covid-19 on August 1. We explain the essential points to remember.

Will we still have to present a health pass?

No. The text formally repeals, from August 1, the part of the public health code relating to the state of health emergency as well as the system for managing the health crisis, marking the return to common law. The daily life constraint measures provided for by these regimes – health pass, obligation to wear a mask, confinement, curfew, etc. – can no longer be restored.

What are the rules for returning from stays abroad?

If the health pass is repealed, the government may however require the presentation of a negative covid test for returns from stays abroad, “in the event of the appearance of a dangerous variant in a country, likely to constitute a serious health threat”. This will be the only accepted proof: neither vaccination certificate nor proof of recovery will be valid. This rule will apply to people over the age of 12.

And for trips overseas?

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The same provision may apply to travelers coming from overseas territories, always in the event of a dangerous variant, or of a risk of hospital saturation. Local executives and elected parliamentarians in the community concerned should, however, be consulted.

These provisions, taken after the opinion of the High Authority for Health, can only be put into force by decree for two months, and beyond that, subject to a vote by Parliament.

Is the screening system maintained?

Yes. Contact Covid, which monitors and supports infected people and their contact cases, has been extended until January 31, 2023. The national screening information system (Sidep), which centralizes all test results , is extended until June 30, 2023.

Will the mask remain compulsory in hospitals and nursing homes?

The vagueness still reigns on this question. Wearing a mask is no longer compulsory since March 14 in closed places open to the public, but it remained so in health and medico-social establishments, as well as in places where health professionals work, from 6 years old. From August 1, the government will no longer be able to impose it, including, therefore, in hospitals and for the elderly.

However, he strongly recommends it and hospital or nursing home directors can always, if necessary, make it compulsory within their establishments.

Will unvaccinated caregivers be reinstated?

Yes, but not right away. The text creates a procedure imposing the effective reintegration of health personnel suspended because they have not been vaccinated, as soon as the health situation no longer justifies imposing a vaccination obligation on them.

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The finding that the health situation no longer justifies the vaccination obligation will be carried out by the High Authority for Health, which may act on its own or be seized by the Minister of Health, the Covid-19 Control and Liaison Committee, or by the Social Affairs Committees of the National Assembly or the Senate.

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