French Parliament approves vaccine passport

Paris, Jan 16 (EFE).- France’s National Assembly on Sunday gave final approval to a bill creating a vaccine passport that would put further pressure on unvaccinated people.

The bill was passed in a 215-58 vote, concluding two weeks of intense parliamentary process and several days of voting in the Assembly and in the Senate.

The government wants the law to come into force this week in a bid to contain the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which has been accounting for over 300,000 daily infections in France in recent days.

The move eliminates the negative-test option stated in the previous health passport, and the result is that participation in a series of social activities will be further hindered for the unvaccinated.

Vaccinated people, those who have recovered from a bout with Covid in the last six months or were granted a medical exemption will be able to enter cultural places such as cinemas, theaters or museums.

The same applies also to accessing malls, cafes, bars and restaurants, as well medium and long-distance public transport.

The legislature’s move also increases the penalties for those who are caught with a false vaccine passport, who could face up to five years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros ($85,500) in the case of repeated offenses.

Some 4.9 million eligible French citizens – 7.3 percent of the population – so far have refused to be vaccinated against Covid, according to official figures.

Meanwhile, 31.6 million people have already been administered a third dose of the vaccine, according to data provided by the Health Ministry.

EFE rcf/ta-bp

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