The French government on Monday enacted a new law that will block unvaccinated individuals from entering most public venues such as restaurants, bars, tourist sites, and sports venues.
Since last summer, France has required a “health pass” to go to any cafe, museum, movie theater, or take a regional train or domestic flight. But until Monday, unvaccinated people could activate the pass by getting a recent negative test.
The new initiative comes amid concern raised by French health officials that the European nation is facing a rise in COVID-19 cases, with France registering Europe’s highest-ever daily CCP virus infection numbers.
The update to the country’s vaccine pass is part of President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to make life so difficult for unvaccinated individuals that they will eventually be forced to get jabbed.
Critics have questioned Macron’s move and doubt whether the vaccine pass will make much difference in a country where 94 percent of adults have already had at least one vaccine dose.
The French president said several days later he stood by his earlier comment, saying it was his responsibility to sound the alarm given the threat posed by the Omicron variant of the CCP virus.
“I stand by my earlier comments,” Macron said, stressing that it was the authorities’ obligation to place restrictions against those who are not vaccinated, as to protect French citizens who are vaccinated.
To be considered “fully vaccinated” under the vaccine pass, children in the 12–17 age bracket will not be required to take the booster, but adults will need to take it. France, meanwhile, opened up access to booster shots to 12- to 17-year-olds on Monday.
Omicron is less likely to cause severe illness than the previous Delta variant, according to studies. Omicron spreads more easily than other CCP virus strains and has already become dominant in many countries. It more easily infects those who have been vaccinated or had previously been infected by prior versions of COVID-19, studies say.
The French government has imposed few other restrictions amid a new wave sparked by Omicron, focusing instead on the country’s “vaccine pass,” which was approved by parliament and the Constitutional Council last week.
For consecutive months, the country has been hard struck by massive demonstrations against the government’s CCP virus restrictions, including this weekend, when tens of thousands of people across the nation protested the new policy, saying the reinforced measures will impinge upon daily freedoms.
Since Dec. 1, 2021, when the “vaccine pass” was announced, protesters have regularly hit the streets to rally against the mandate.