Critics say the new legislation infringes on the freedoms of those who do not want to be vaccinated against COVID-19. On Saturday, more than 160,000 people took part in protests held in several cities nationwide on Saturday against the government’s plans. But President Emmanuel Macron’s government has argued the rules are needed to protect vulnerable populations and hospitals as a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections grips France, as well as to avoid fresh lockdowns.
Paper or digital documents will be accepted and the new legislation says a government decree will outline how to handle vaccination documents from other countries. It initially applies to all adults, but will apply to everyone 12 and older from September 30.
All workers in the healthcare sector will also be required to start getting vaccinated by September 15, or risk suspension. Monday’s move means people visiting restaurants and other public venues, or those undertaking domestic travel on trains and aeroplanes, will be required to show proof of vaccination, a negative test, or recent recovery from the coronavirus.
They worked through the night and the weekend to reach a compromise version approved by the Senate on Sunday night and by the National Assembly after midnight. The rules can now be applied until November 15, depending on the virus situation. The rules were implemented by decree, but legislators were required to vote on their extension to cover other settings.
The move came as his government sought to tackle a rising COVID caseload, fuelled by the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant, first detected in India. Last week, Macron ordered that the health pass would be required to visit cinemas, nightclubs, museums and other cultural venues.
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