People in France are getting COVID-19 infections at an unprecedented rate, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Wednesday, Dec. 29. In 24 hours, there have been 208,000 cases, which is a record for both France and Europe.

Since January 3, people who can work from home must do so at least three days a week. Public gatherings will be limited to 2,000 people inside and 5,000 people outdoors, French Prime Minister Jean Castex recommended.

Other countries in Europe have also taken new steps in response to the spread of Omicron, which studies say is more infectious but also less dangerous than original strain.

The government of the United Kingdom has also said that it won’t be taking any new steps in England this year, even though there have been a lot of infections in recent days.

As of Tuesday, 180,000 people in France had been infected, making it the highest number in Europe, according to data from Covidtracker.fr.

Jean Castex, the French Prime Minister, and Olivier Veran, the country’s health minister, announced a new set of measures to slow down the spreading during the New Year’s celebrations. They urged their countrymen to follow the new rules to keep COVID-19 from spreading.

Olivier Veran said: “This means that 24 hours a day, day and night, every second in our country, two French people are diagnosed positive, we have never experienced such a situation.” He called the rise in cases “dizzying.”

It’s a big COVID wave.

The number of infections has hit a record high in the last seven days, in French hospitals, things were already bad since Delta. With Omicron not yet having an effect, but Veran said that could happen soon.

Veran said: “We have two enemies, as for Omicron, I would no longer talk about a wave. This is a groundswell, where several waves combine to form one massive wave.”

Even more trouble for hospitals.

“I’m not ill, I just have a dry throat,” said Veran, who coughed a lot during the hearing, which made the people sitting next to him nervous.

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