A Vaccine Pass For Cultural Venues Has Been Launched In France.
From Wednesday, people who wish to go to the movies, museums, or sports games in France must provide proof of a Covid-19 vaccination or a recent negative test, as the government implements its controversial vaccine passport system in the wake of a surge in new cases.
All activities or venues with more than 50 people will require the so-called “health pass,” which will be expanded to restaurants, cafes, and large shopping malls in August.
The administration hopes that by formalizing the system through legislation currently being debated in parliament, it would be able to prevent a fourth wave of infections and urge people to be vaccinated.
Health Minister Olivier Veran warned on Tuesday that the highly virulent Delta type was generating an unprecedented rise in new infections, with 18,000 cases reported in the preceding 24 hours, up 150 percent in a week.
President Emmanuel Macron met with top officials on Wednesday to discuss the health-care crisis, and Prime Minister Jean Castex was scheduled to speak on television following the meeting.
With the majority of new cases involving unvaccinated children, the health pass is intended to urge them to be vaccinated and avert a new statewide lockdown that would harm the entire population.
However, it has been criticized, including by MPs from Macron’s Republic on the Move (LREM) party, for allegedly restricting unvaccinated people’s civil liberties and requiring venues to check patrons’ IDs.
Locations who fail to check their customers’ credentials face fines of up to 1,500 euros ($1,700) for a first offense, and higher fines for subsequent infractions.
Visitors who did not have proof of immunization were offered testing at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
On Tuesday, LREM legislator Pacome Rupin remarked, “Protecting public health has been our priority since March 2020, but it has not harmed the cohesion of our society because the rules were the equal for everyone.”
“Our country will be shattered by the health-care bill. “It’s a significant shift in our society,” he remarked.
The system, according to Jordan Bardella, vice president of the far-right National Rally, is a “model of surveillance by everyone of everyone.”
Other detractors, particularly on the extreme right, have accused Macron of turning France into a “health dictatorship,” with 114,000 people taking to the streets in rallies around the country on Saturday.
The reforms were enacted by decree on Wednesday, but lawmakers are due to vote on legislation next month that will expand the system to restaurants as well. Brief News from Washington Newsday.