First modification: 07/26/2021 – 14:36
A mixed parliamentary commission gave the final approval to the project after the Senate introduced a series of modifications to the original text of the Government. With the new regulations, designed to attack the advance of the pandemic, the health certificate is expanded and caregivers and health personnel are forced to be vaccinated.
The French will have to use a health pass from August. Parliament finally approved the bill presented by the Government of Emmanuel Macron after introducing a series of modifications and several days of debate in the National Assembly and the Senate. In the absence of the final review of the Constitutional Court, the Executive ensures an important victory in its fight to achieve the maximum number of vaccinated population possible.
The negotiations were not easy. Emmanuel Macron’s party – The Republic on the Move – has a majority in the National Assembly, where they managed to approve the almost original text proposed by the Government, however, in the Senate the conservative group of Republicans dominate. This political formation was in favor of a health pass, but without so many restrictions on the unvaccinated.
Not vaccinated, banned from bars and restaurants
After negotiations, it was finally agreed that the health pass will be mandatory for all people who wish to go to bars, restaurants and terraces. This last point was modified by the senators, but finally reintroduced in the mixed commission. In addition, one of the most important points is the prohibition of long-distance trips in mass transport (buses, trains and airplanes) to those who are not vaccinated.
These restrictions reduce nightlife to practically zero for people who do not get vaccinated and are added to those already in force that only allow access to museums, theaters and concerts to those who have two doses of the vaccine. Only shopping centers may be open to everyone, although the law opens the possibility for regional departments to impose restrictions if they deem it necessary.
The pass is also extendable to all people who can prove that they have overcome the disease in the last six months and who have decided to take a diagnostic test before entering these venues.
Deadlines for different population groups
Another point of controversy between the deputies and the senators was the validity that the health pass should have. The former approved that at least it would have to be effective until December 31, in line with what was promulgated by the Government, but the latter assured that until October 31. Finally, the date will be November 15 and after that a new extension will have to be voted in Parliament.
Regarding the dates, it was also clarified until what day those under 18 will not have to use it. This strip of population should not take it until September 30 because they are being vaccinated later. In addition, those over 16 will have the freedom to choose if they want to be vaccinated and those under that age will only need the authorization of one of the parents.
Another controversial point was the obligation to the health sector to be vaccinated. It is estimated that around 80% of the toilets have already done so, however, the authorities consider that the remaining 20% is dangerous. Among the possible sanctioning measures against these workers who do not want to be immunized, immediate dismissal was proposed, but a temporary employment and salary sanction will only be imposed in the most serious cases.
📢 In seance, the Gouvernement to present an amendement in order to prefets can impose the presentation of the #passesanitaire pour l’accès aux centers commerciaux under the conditions guaranteeing l’accès aux biens and services of première need and aux moyens de transport.
– Sénat (@Senat) July 25, 2021
The dates defined are September 15 for the first dose and October 15 for the second. Like health workers, other professions that work for the public will need to be immunized. Failure to do so could face fines of up to 3,750 euros and even criminal offenses of six months in prison.
The health certificate is already noted in the vaccination data
The main reason for the proposal of this pass was to reactivate the vaccination data of the last weeks. The trend observed a clear stagnation before reaching 60% of the vaccinated population, something that could be dangerous in terms of health security and new variants of the virus.
Since the certificate was announced, more than four million French people have decided to get immunized. A clear acceleration in the last two weeks that has already allowed exceeding 40 million doses, something that was celebrated by Emmanuel Macron on Twitter. “Together we will defeat the virus. We continue!”, The leader wrote in his account.
In full escalation in infections, the goal of the authorities is that 50 million French people are vaccinated by the end of August. This figure would be a success due to the great skepticism shown by a sector of the population towards vaccines. The country has one of the most powerful anti-vaccine movements in Europe and this weekend more than 160,000 people came out to protest against health measures.
With EFE and Reuters