France orders anyone aged 12 and older to show Covid ‘health pass’ to enter public sites in bid to stave off winter coronavirus flare-up
It is an extension of a measure in place for two months for adults visiting restaurants, sport clubs or cinemas.
Authorities are hoping the policy will prevent another wave of Covid cases as colder weather approaches and people spend more time indoors.
The pass, available on paper or as a QR code on phones, proves vaccination, a recent negative Covid test, or inoculation because a person has already had the virus.
France has ordered anyone aged 12 and older to show a Covid-19 ‘health pass’ (pictured) to enter public sites in a bid to stave off a winter virus flare-up
It is an extension of a measure in place for two months for adults visiting restaurants,(pictured, Le Petit Cambodge in Paris) sport clubs or cinemas
Announced by President Emmanuel Macron in July, it prompted millions of people to get the jabs after holding out for months, giving France one of the world’s highest vaccination rates.
But thousands of people have turned out in weekly protests, saying the pass discriminates against people opposed to the vaccine because of safety fears or other reasons.
The government is nonetheless preparing a law that would let it keep imposing the health pass if necessary until next summer, calling it a key measure for avoiding another lockdown that would cripple a fragile economic recovery.
Demonstrators carrying a sign reading ‘Popular wave against the Health Pass’ at a rally against the requirement in Nantes on August 9
Protesters call for ‘vaccination freedom’ during a rally against President Macron’s ‘health pass’ on September 11
Thousands of people have turned out in weekly protests, (pictured on August 14) saying the pass discriminates against people opposed to the vaccine because of safety fears or other reasons
Around two-thirds of French teenagers are fully vaccinated, compared with 72 percent for the population as a whole.
It comes as the government said pupils from October 4 will no longer have to wear protective face masks in French primary schools in areas with a low Covid-19 infection rate.
Paris and nearby suburbs are not among the 47 metropolitan departments, or administrative districts, where mandatory wearing of masks will be ended.
Only regions with incident rates of less than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, primarily rural areas, will be included in the relaxation. Paris and much of southern France will remain on high alert.
As of Wednesday, France has recorded 116,657 Covid deaths since the start of the pandemic, including 42 in the previous 24 hours.
The government on Thursday said pupils from October 4 will no longer have to wear protective face masks in French primary schools in areas with a low Covid-19 infection rate