The French parliament approves more restrictive vaccine passes

The French parliament finally approved on Sunday the government’s latest measures to tackle the covid-19 virus, including a vaccine pass questioned by anti-vaccine protesters.

Legislators in Parliament’s lower house voted 215 in favor of 58 against, paving the way for the law to enter into force in the coming days.

The new law, which had a difficult journey through parliament with opposition parties thinking some of its provisions were too tough, will require people to have a vaccination certificate to enter public places such as restaurants, cafes, cinemas and long-distance trains.

Currently, unvaccinated people can enter such places with the result of a recent negative COVID-19 test. Nearly 78% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to the Ministry of Health on Saturday.

President Emmanuel Macron, who is expected to seek a second term in a presidential election in April, told Le Parisien newspaper this month that he wanted to “piss” unvaccinated people by making their lives so complicated that they would get the covid vaccine.

Thousands of anti-vaccine protesters demonstrated in Paris and some other cities on Saturday against the law, but their numbers dropped sharply from the week before, following Macron’s comments.

France is in the grip of its fifth covid-19 wave with daily new cases regularly beating record levels above 300,000. Nevertheless, the number of serious cases placing people in intensive care units is much lower than the first wave in March-April 2020.

(Reuters)

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