Early Monday, the French government passed a law that approved of special virus passes for restaurants and travel. It also mandated vaccines for all health workers. President Emmanuel Macron, along with the government, said that it was essential to take this step to protect those who were vulnerable, to avoid new lockdowns and to help hospitals cope with the number of new cases.
The law says that all those who work in the health sector have to get vaccinated by September 15, barring which they would face suspension. It also requires people to get a “health pass.” This pass will allow people to enter
- other public venues.
Initially all adults will have to show a health pass to gain entry. It will also apply to everyone who is older than 12 years from September 30.
People have to show proof that they have been fully vaccinated or tested negative recently or have recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection to get a health pass. Both paper and digital documents will be accepted. There will be a separate government decree to handle those people who have received vaccines from other countries.
The bill was drafted six days ago. Lawmakers worked through the weekend to reach a bill that was approved by the Senate, on Sunday night. After midnight, the National Assembly passed the bill which could be applicable through November 15. The duration of the bill would depend on the current and future situation of the coronavirus pandemic.
About 160,000 people protested, mainly mobilized by the right wing in France, across the nation on Saturday, with several of them shouting “Liberte.” Macron said that the protesters had a right to peacefully protest.
He asked for national unity and urged the citizens to get vaccinated to fight the recent surges. He also criticized those who were against COVID-19 vaccines. He asked the protesters of what value freedom would be if they infected their family members.
Macron also said that the virus would not just go away because there were demonstrations in France. He blamed the far-right politicians and extremists in the yellow vest movement of France of cynically manipulating anger against him by mobilizing such protests.