As the fourth round of vaccinations arrives in France, a contentious vaccine pass is launched.
As the country, which is in the midst of a fourth wave of infections, launched out a contentious vaccine passport system on Wednesday, cinemas, museums, and sports venues began asking guests to provide confirmation of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative test.
Before being extended to restaurants, cafes, and shopping malls in August, the so-called “health pass” is necessary for all activities or places with more than 50 people.
Prime Minister Jean Castex defended the approach, claiming that persons who have not been immunised account for nearly all new diseases.
On Wednesday, the number of new infections in 24 hours reached 21,000, the highest level since early May.
“We are in the fourth wave,” Castex told TF1 television, adding that the health pass is intended to prevent a fourth statewide lockdown.
Health Minister Olivier Veran slammed vaccine skeptics who claim the government is infringing on their right to choose.
“Freedom does not entail avoiding taxes, going the wrong way along the highway, smoking in a restaurant, or refusing a vaccine that protects me as well as others,” he told lawmakers.
On Wednesday, the immunization checks began at the Louvre museum and the Eiffel Tower, among other locations.
However, while most tourists had their vaccination certificates on hand, having displayed them upon entering the country, the new requirements caught some French citizens off guard.
Marie-Ange Rodrigues, 28, of the Paris suburb of Rosny-sous-Bois, was astonished to be turned away from a cinema screening after receiving her second vaccine shot.
She scoffed at the need that she be fully vaccinated for at least a week.
According to data from the covidtracker.fr website, about 38 million people, or 56 percent of the French population, have gotten at least one vaccine dosage.
Nearly 46% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
By the end of the summer, the government hopes to have administered at least one shot to 50 million individuals.
Last week, tens of thousands of vaccination skeptics went to the streets in protest of President Emmanuel Macron’s new vaccine laws, accusing him of conducting a vaccine “dictatorship.”
Some legislators in Macron’s Republic on the Move (LREM) party have criticized the limits, calling them a threat to civil liberties.
“Since March 2020, protecting public health has been our first priority, but it hasn’t jeopardized our country’s cohesion because the regulations were the same for everyone,” stated LREM lawmaker Pacome Rupin. Brief News from Washington Newsday.