French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that citizens without a COVID pass will be banned from entering cafes, restaurants, shopping centres, and trains from next month.
During a Monday evening address, Macron said from July 21, anyone wanting to participate in normal life must be able to prove they have taken the vaccine or undergone a recent COVID test returning a negative result.
“The unvaccinated will bear the brunt of the restrictions rather than everyone…from the beginning of august, the vax pass will be needed for coffee shops, restaurants, supermarkets, hospitals, trains, buses etc…”— Nat (@Arwenstar) July 13, 2021
Macron also hinted at the possibility of forced vaccinations of those who refuse to take the vaccine, “depending on the situation.”
“No doubt we will have to ask ourselves the question of mandatory vaccinations for all the French,” Macron said. “I have made the choice of trust and I am appealing to all our non-vaccinated countrymen to go and get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
French Government spokesman, Gabriel Attal said the vaccine is vital to keeping shops and restaurants operating.
“The vaccine is what allows us to live as normally as possible, we cannot do without it. We refuse to close shops and restaurants again because some people have not been vaccinated.”
Macron also mandated the vaccination for healthcare workers, age care workers, care home employees, and those who work with vulnerable patients, saying they must take the vaccination by September 15.
Those who refuse to be vaccinated before the deadline will be banned from work and denied pay, according to Health Minister Olivier Véran.
The president also said, to “encourage vaccinations” the unvaccinated will have to pay for their mandatory COVID tests from September.
According to Attal, more than 20,000 people per minute booked vaccine appointments in the hours following the president’s announcement.
Stanislas Niox-Chateau, head of Doctolob, France’s main medical appointments website said on Tuesday that 926,000 people, mostly under the age of 35, had booked jabs since the Monday address. Sceptics, however, have suggested the numbers are being used to make the vaccine-hesitant feel alienated.
Les Patriotes leader Florian Philippot said France was “sliding into dictatorship.”
“You can do without cinema, restaurants, cafes, bars, theatres,” he said on Twitter. “You cannot do without your dignity, your liberty, your humanity. Boycott everything, until this health pass disappears.”