Despite widespread protests, the French parliament has approved a law requiring everyone over the age of 12 to have a Wuhan coronavirus health pass for travel, visiting restaurants, and other basic life activities.
The law was passed in the early hours of Monday after an all-night session between the two houses of the French parliament and will require that anyone over the age of 12-years will be forced to present a health pass displaying a negative coronavirus test, vaccinations, or recent Covid recovery in order to do simple things like travel by train or aeroplane in France.
The pass will also be required for restaurants, museums, swimming pools, France24 reports. In fact, any venue or place that can hold more than 50 people will be required to check guest’s health status, or else face hefty fines.
The new law will be rolled out in two tranches, with the vaccination passport rules applying to adults from August, and to children as young as 12 from the end of September.
Along with mandatory passports, the law includes a provision that will force healthcare workers to take the vaccine, a move that was criticised by some healthcare workers after it was announced by President Emmanuel Macron earlier this month.
After noticing that the door to the town hall had been left open, the protesters entered, yelling various slogans, including, “No to the [vaccine] pass,” and “Macron must resign!” https://t.co/pWmjO0nnoZ
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) July 25, 2021
According to a report from the Associated Press, many healthcare workers are still hesitant about taking the vaccine, while others simply support each individual’s right to choose whether or not to take the vaccine.
The wire agency cites the comments of one sceptical member of the nursing profession, nursing school graduate Solene Manable who said of her choice: “There are many health workers who don’t want to get vaccinated because we don’t know much about the vaccines”.
Patrick Pelloux, president of the Association of Emergency Physicians of France, meanwhile, praised the French government’s move as France now sees around 20,000 new daily coronavirus infections, up from just several thousand per day earlier this month, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics.
The new French law was passed despite widespread protests across the country in recent days, with protests on Saturday seeing over 160,000 people take part, up from the 114,000 who had protested the prior weekend.
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) July 17, 2021
Former conservative French presidential candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignan has been involved in protests against the vaccine passport policy, labelling it a “health coup d’état.”
He has been joined by former National Rally (RN) member Florian Philipot who now leads his own party, Les Patriotes.
Philipot has called for more protests against the health pass stating, “We have the intention of resisting by continuing to demonstrate in order to exert pressure, by continuing to strike, to take sick leave, to call for a boycott of the health pass.”
President Macron dismissed the concerns of those who said there were liberty implications in rolling out the health passport which would make vaccination or constant health testing a fact of life for all, saying that the freedom of individuals meant nothing because of infectious disease. Macron said: “What is your freedom worth if you say to me ‘I don’t want to be vaccinated,’ but tomorrow you infect your father, your mother or myself?” while criticising those he accused of “cynical manipulation” by speaking against vaccination.