PARIS, July 26 (Reuters) – The French parliament on Monday approved a bill that will make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for health workers and require an enhanced health pass in a wide range of social settings as France is fighting a fourth wave of coronavirus infections.
Visitors to museums, cinemas or swimming pools in France are already denied entry if they cannot produce a pass stating that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have had a test recent negative. The pass was required for large-scale festivals or to go to a club.
From the beginning of August, the pass will also be required to enter restaurants and bars and for long-distance train and plane journeys.
The measures contained in the bill are due to end on November 15. A final green light from the Constitutional Court, the country’s highest court, will be needed before the law can enter into force.
From around 4,000 new cases per day in early July, daily infections in France have gradually increased, reaching 22,000 last week, with hospitalizations also on the rise.
Like many other countries in Europe, France is grappling with the highly contagious Delta variant, first identified in India, which threatens to prolong the pandemic and derail the economic recovery.
The authorities are stepping up their efforts to facilitate mass vaccination and are stepping up awareness among those who have not made an appointment.
As of Sunday, 49.3% of the 67 million inhabitants of France had received two doses – or a single injection – of a COVID-19 vaccine, still far from any threshold, according to some experts, could help largely curb transmission of COVID-19, a mechanism called “herd immunity.” “
Experts from the country’s Pasteur Institute said earlier this year that a total easing of restrictions in the country could be considered without an epidemic resurgence if more than 90% of adults received a vaccine.
Report by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall
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