In a televised address on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron admonished people to get vaccinated for the country to return to normal. This led to a rush of people signing up to get vaccinated. Over a million French signed up in less than a day. Most of them were under 35 years.
Monday night, Macron announced that vaccinations would be mandatory for health care workers by September 15. He also indicated that it could soon become mandatory for all as a number of places including restaurants, shopping malls, and transportation both trains and planes would soon require a special COVID health pass.
Doctolib, the central app for France’s vaccine and other medical appointments, reported on Tuesday that 1.3 million people have signed up to get a jab, after Macron’s televised address to the nation. This was the highest number in less than a day and the majority of those who signed up were below the age of 35.
Some of those who lined up for a jab said that they felt safe after the government’s announcement about the necessity of vaccines while others expressed irritation at the idea of mandatory health passes or vaccines, in order to have a social life.
All restaurants will soon require a COVID pass from its patrons. People will have to provide proof of vaccination, or a recent COVID-19 infection or a negative test from the last 48 hours. Earlier tests were free for anyone on French territory but now the French government will begin to charge for tests. This has also made people line up to get vaccinated.
Paris restaurants are anxious about the implementation of these new rules including the challenge of implementing them as well as scaring away customers who have been returning after nine months of shutdowns. However, Health Minister Olivier Veran said that the question remained between a lockdown or a health pass.
More than 111,000 people have died from COVID-19 in France. About 41 percent of the population in France has been fully vaccinated. The vaccine drive had slowed down this summer. After Monday’s announcement, the number of those who get vaccinated is bound to increase for various reasons.