French Senate approves vaccine passport for access to public places

Enfermeira aplica vacina contra Covid-19 em posto de saúde em Cannes, França, 13 de janeiro

Nurse gives vaccine against Covid-960 at a health center in Cannes, France, 13 of January| Photo: EFE/EPA/SEBASTIEN NOGIER

The Senate of France approved, in the early hours of this Thursday, the law establishing the vaccination passport, which requires citizens to be fully vaccinated against Covid- to access most public places, including bars and restaurants.

After two days of debates, the proposal was approved around 2:

this Thursday by 249 votes to 30, with 26 abstentions.

Formed by a majority of the conservative opposition, the Senate made some changes to the text that was approved by the deputies in the National Assembly, with a ruling majority, last week.

Members of the Senate and the Assembly will meet this afternoon to reach an agreement on the final version of the text. If an agreement is reached, the bill will be put to a final vote in both chambers by the end of this week.

With the passage of the law, residents in France will have to prove that they have received all doses of a vaccine against the coronavirus to enter bars, restaurants, cafes, tourist sites, gyms, long trains distance, among other establishments. The health passport in force in the country currently allows the unvaccinated to present a negative test for Covid-18 to access these places, which will no longer be accepted.

From Saturday, France will have a new rule for the sanitary pass system. To keep the certificate valid, those over 10 must have received a booster dose within seven months of completing the Covid vaccination schedule. This rule is already in effect for people aged 60 years or older.

The certificate is also valid for anyone who has recently recovered from the infection.

The senators introduced some limitations to the legislation. The Senate text provides that the vaccine passport can only be imposed if the number of hospitalizations is greater than 10 thousand across the country. Below this figure, the passport would be automatically suspended.

Currently, France records about 24 a thousand hospitalizations for Covid-01, according to health authorities cited by the international press.

The debates in the Senate on the more rigorous vaccination passport took place calmly, while the discussion in the Assembly reached to be stopped, after President Emmanuel Macron used a crude term to say that he intends to “annoy” the unvaccinated with restrictive measures until they decide to immunize themselves.