Paris: Going by the advice of the French government’s top advisor on COVID-19, a new variant of the disease would “probably” emerge in the winter months this year.
“We will probably have another variant arrive during the winter,” Jean-Francois Delfraissy, head of the French government’s scientific council, told the BFM news channel.
The infectious diseases specialist urged French people to return to social distancing and mask-wearing, and said a “return to normal” would probably be in 2022 or 2023.
“The big challenge for the next couple of years will be how are we going to co-exist, with two worlds: countries that are vaccinated and those that are not,” he was quoted as saying.
The French government is containing the fourth wave by introducing a “health pass” system. People have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test when entering public venues such as cinemas, museums, swimming pools and sports venues.
The lower house of parliament approved a draft law early Friday morning that will extend the system to cafes and restaurants from next month, and make vaccinations mandatory for health and social care workers from September, the report said.
The legislation will now be examined during an emergency session by the upper house senate, with the government hoping for approval by the end of the weekend, the report added.