Critics complain that this limits their movement outside the home – and implicitly makes vaccinations mandatory. Opponents have demonstrated across the country by tens of thousands over the past three Saturdays, with more protests expected this weekend.
The Constitutional Council which examined the law is a special jurisdiction which controls, among other things, the constitutionality of the legislation.
The health pass has been in effect since July 21 for cultural and recreational venues, including cinemas, concert halls and theme parks with a capacity of more than 50 people. But the new law considerably extends its application.
The biggest change concerns restaurants, which will now have to turn away customers who do not present the sanitary pass. Many restaurateurs say it’s not their job to uphold the law, checking every customer for a pass.
Visitors to some shopping malls and department stores will also need the pass, as will visitors to hospitals or nursing homes and people seeking non-urgent medical care.
But the absence of a health card should not be an obstacle to the care of patients, said the court.
Mandatory vaccination for health workers
Health workers and others whose jobs require them to come into contact with people at risk of Covid must now be vaccinated by law.
But the court dismissed as “disproportionate” the government’s desire to force people infected with Covid to self-isolate for 10 days.
The court judges also overturned another provision included in the health law that would allow employers to fire people on fixed-term or temporary contracts if they do not have a laissez-passer.
The court said this was unfair treatment, as employees with open-ended contracts could not be fired for the same reason.
Staff may, however, be suspended from their duties without pay if they do not have a laissez-passer if the nature of their work so requires because, for example, they put them in contact with the public.
Adolescents urged for vaccination
The health pass will not come into effect for young people aged 12 to 17 until September 30.
Protests against the health pass brought together around 200,000 people across France on Saturday, and organizers called for more protests this weekend.
According to a Montaigne opinion poll this week, 37% of French people sympathize with the protests and 48% are against.
Some 60 percent approve of mandatory vaccinations.
More than 8,000 people are currently being treated for Covid-19 in French hospitals, including nearly 1,400 in intensive care, health authorities reported on Wednesday.
Just under 29,000 new cases have been reported in the past 24 hours.
Some 54 percent of the French population are now fully vaccinated.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)