French Prime Minister Jean Castex is standing by his decision to not follow other European countries in imposing stricter measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
According to reports, Castex is instead urging locals to exert individual and collective effort by not hosting or attending huge holiday parties that could become super-spreaders of the Omicron variant.
French PM Jean Castex wants the public to do their share
Castex also said that everyone tends to lower their guard the minute restrictions are lifted. So, instead of putting France into another lockdown, the country will figure out other ways to stop the spread of Omicron.
"The situation demands an individual as well as a collective effort. But it's no longer the time for lockdowns," Castex said via France 24.
The French prime minister also encourages qualified residents to get vaccinated or get their booster shots.
Nightclubs in France will be closed for four weeks
Reports confirmed that several new vaccination centers would be opened in Paris over the coming days. Nightclubs will also be closed for four weeks starting this weekend. Students will also be required to wear face masks in school.
As of press writing, 25 Omicron cases have already been confirmed in France. But health officials believe that this number could quadruple in no time because of the variant's mutation.
According to Reuters, 21 out of the 25 individuals that tested positive for Omicron got it following their trip to South Africa. The other four were a result of local infection.
Health Minister Oliver Veran also said that Omicron seems more contagious than the Delta variant.
During a recent interview, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that all locals should do their part in ensuring that no new lockdowns will be imposed. He also said that nightclubs and restaurants that will be affected would be back by the government accordingly, according to Bloomberg.
Other countries in Europe have also confirmed at least one case of Omicron.
Omicron cases in Europe confirmed
According to Euro News, Austria has one confirmed case who is a man from Tyrol region and who recently traveled to South Africa.
Belgium also detected its first case of Omicron last month. And the woman recently traveled to Egypt and showed symptoms for 11 days.
On Monday, Croatia reported its first suspected case of Omicron. And there are reports that two individuals became infected during a meeting.
The Czech Republic also announced its first Omicron case last month.
Denmark has one of the most numbers of confirmed Omicron cases to date. As of press writing, the country already has 183 cases.
Finland also reported seven Omicron cases as of Dec. 4, while Germany has 15 confirmed cases.
Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom have at least one confirmed Omicron case.
Different countries have different restrictions and mandates. And some have also announced lockdowns ahead of the holidays, like Australia, Slovakia. The Netherlands is also considering a weeks-long lockdown amid the rising number of Omicron cases.