Travel restrictions not suspended for people vaccinated or already infected with COVID-19

Individuals and an association asked the Conseil d'Etat's urgent applications judge to suspend the lockdown and curfew measures for people who have already contracted COVID-19 or who have been vaccinated. The urgent applications judge, after noting that only the curfew measures are still in force after the lockdown was terminated by decree on 1 May 2021, observed that uncertainties remain as to the contagiousness of both vaccinated and reinfected persons. The judge also observed that if the restrictions were lifted for these people today, the public authorities would not be able to identify these populations with certainty and would be unnecessarily and excessively burdened. For these reasons, the judge rejected the applicants' requests.

The urgent applications judge observed that according to the scientific data available :

  • people who have been vaccinated, 15 days after the last injection, may be carriers of the virus to a much lesser extent than non-vaccinated people;

  • people who recover after contracting COVID-19 are likely to stop carrying the virus for three or even six months, or in smaller proportions than non-vaccinated people.

The judge also stated that the relative control of the third wave of the virus' spread that appears to be taking place remains precarious. Indeed, the variants of the virus pose a threat to the health situation because little is known about the capacity of some of them to spread, their fatality or their sensitivity to existing vaccines.

Lastly, the judge observed that lifting the lockdown measures for these people alone would only be possible if the public authorities were able to identify them with certainty (non-falsifiable, easily verifiable personal identification methods that comply with the requirements for processing personal medical information, etc.). However, this seems impossible in the four weeks remaining before the restrictions are lifted, as the legislation currently stands, on 2 June.

Without these quick and simple means of identification, the police would be overburdened, at night, with ineffective checks, as they would be unable to verify whether a person is vaccinated or not. Failure to comply with the measures could then completely undermine the effectiveness of the health policy put in place to protect the entire population.

The lifting of these measures for vaccinated persons would also risk increasing the tension on vaccination centres, whose logistical consequences of an influx of requests (doses of vaccine, organisation of the centres) would affect the most vulnerable people who need to be vaccinated first.

Under these conditions, the urgent applications judge considered that maintaining the curfew did not constitute a manifestly unlawful infringement of the rights and freedoms of persons who had recovered from contracting COVID-19 or who had received the vaccination. For these reasons, the judge rejected the applicants' requests.

Download French Ordinance No. 451455 and 451940