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COVID-19: France’s ‘vaccine pass’ comes into effect amid Omicron’s ramp-up

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COVID-19: France’s ‘vaccine pass’ comes into effect amid Omicron’s ramp-up

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A controversial new “vaccine pass” comes into force today in France.

The pass will allow people recently cured of the disease or fully vaccinated (and over the age of 16) to access bars, restaurants, interregional transport and other public spaces.

It replaces the country’s “health pass” and means that people who test negative for the disease are no longer able to enter these places.

The introduction of the new pass is an attempt to increase the vaccination rate in France. Earlier this month, President Emmanuel Macron sparked controversy by saying he wanted to “fuck off” the unvaccinated “all the way”.

The law was passed last week after intense parliamentary debate.

“The vaccine pass is a game-changer and will allow normal activities to resume,” Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, France’s minister for tourism and small businesses, told Europe 1 radio.

“Last summer, it was the health pass that allowed us to face the wave (of the virus) and to keep a certain number of businesses open: well here it’s the same,” he added. .

Tens of thousands of people across France protested against the vaccination pass this weekend, saying their freedom of choice was being violated.

It comes as France records a record number of COVID-19 cases, with nearly half a million daily infections over several days in the past week.

While COVID-19 cases have filled French hospitals, they are not yet completely saturated due to the high vaccination rate. About 75% of patients in intensive care units have COVID-19, according to French government statistics.

Nearly 78% of the French population is fully vaccinated and 49% have received a booster shot.

Despite France’s high infection rate, the government has presented a plan to lift restrictions from February.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said last week that mandatory mask-wearing outdoors and working from home will end on February 2.

Nightclubs, closed since December, will be able to reopen from February 16.

COVID-19: France’s ‘vaccine pass’ comes into effect amid Omicron’s ramp-up

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