The high court, which endorses compulsory vaccination for health workers, calls the measures a “balanced conciliation” between public freedoms and health protection
As of this Monday, August 9, people who want to go to a bar or a restaurant in France must necessarily present a certificate proving that they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus or a negative result of a test carried out in the previous 48 hours . This was decided yesterday by the Constitutional Council, in a controversial decision that settles the thorny debate that has sparked in the country one of the star measures of the president, Emmanuel Macron, to fight against the pandemic.
The high court’s ruling in favor of the use of the covid certificate will not only be limited to the hospitality industry. Said document will also be required to make use of long-distance trains and domestic flights, in health establishments to receive non-urgent medical attention and in visits to relatives admitted to nursing homes. However, he vetoed the possibility of dismissing people who do not have this receipt from temporary jobs.
The Constitutional Court also gave the green light to Macron’s proposal to make vaccination mandatory in the case of health personnel, as well as for other professionals who interact with vulnerable groups, such as firefighters or nursing home workers. All of them will be given until September 15 to begin immunization and until October 15 to complete it. If they have not done so by then, they may be suspended from employment and pay until the serum is injected.
Despite the fact that this measure, such as the COVID certificate, has been harshly questioned in Parliament and has sparked massive protests throughout the country for three weeks, the highest body in charge of ensuring compliance with the Magna Carta has considered that these strategies represent a “Balanced conciliation” between public liberties and health protection.
To encourage the population to get vaccinated, the French authorities have already imposed the health certificate since July 21 to enter any leisure or sports establishment where more than 50 people are concentrated. From Monday, the initiative will acquire a greater reach over a population, in which more than half of the inhabitants – 54% – are already fully vaccinated. Minors between the ages of 12 and 17 have yet to receive the complete guideline, who will not be required to present said certificate until September 30.
This weekend new protests have been called in France, which have been growing in number and already the last day brought together more than 200,000 people. The protesters accuse the government of wanting to impose “a health dictatorship.” The Executive ignores these accusations and yesterday applauded the decision “of the wise”, as defined by the prime minister, Jean Castex, to the members of the Constitutional Court.
The use of the health certificate has also generated controversy in countries such as Spain, where hospitality unions have denounced the initiative before the courts, which in some cases have positioned themselves in their favor. There have also been protests in Italy, the United Kingdom and Cyprus over the anticovid measures.