World, Europe

France set to impose health pass Aug. 9

Law divides country as 27,934 new coronavirus cases, 40 deaths registered in last 24 hours

Shweta Desai   | 28.07.2021
France set to impose health pass Aug. 9 Demonstrators, including yellow vests, gather to protest against vaccines and the government's new health pass requirement as riot police stand guard, outside the National Assembly in Paris, France on July 27, 2021. ( Alaattin Dogru - Anadolu Agency )

PARIS

France will implement a controversial health pass measure in social places starting the second week of August, officials said Wednesday.

The new law on the health crisis, including compulsory vaccination for health care professionals and isolation for coronavirus patients along with an extension of the health pass for entry into public and social places like restaurants, cafes, and long-distance transport will take effect Aug. 9, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said at a news conference.

The health pass measure has been mandatory since July 21 in places of leisure and culture like cinemas, concert halls, museums and art institutions with more than 50 people.

On July 26, parliament approved an extension for all adults to enter cafes, restaurants, even on outdoor terraces, trains, flights, trade fairs and large shopping centers.

The contested law still needs to be validated by the highest constitutional authority, the Constitutional Council, which is likely to deliver a ruling Aug. 5 on whether the law oversteps the limits of public freedom.

Attal said following the decision, the government will immediately promulgate the law.

The health pass is proof of vaccination or a negative antigen or PCR test less than 48 hours old.

The measures, including the health pass, are being introduced to stop the spread of a fourth wave of the virus and active circulation of the Delta variant.

Attal said, at present, France was recording more than 19,000 daily cases, which is 97% more than last week. The number of patients in intensive care units have increased 80% in one week.

Authorities registered 27,934 new cases and 40 deaths in the last 24 hours.

The government of President Emmanuel Macron is aiming to vaccinate 50 million people by the end of August to reduce the number of new infections and deaths. But the new law has divided the country, with thousands protesting compulsory vaccination and the health pass, characterizing it as dictatorial.

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