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COVID-19 HEALTH PASS

LATEST: French gov to push for Vaccine pass to replace health pass

French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, has said that the government will seek to transform the health pass into a vaccine pass. This means negative Covid tests and proof of recent recovery from the virus will no longer be sufficient to gain access to many public venues.

French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, has announced a raft of new Covid measures.
French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, has announced a raft of new Covid measures. (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP)

French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, said that the government would push to transform the health pass into a vaccine pass. 

“Only vaccination will be taken into account with the vaccine pass,” he explained, following a meeting of France’s Covid Defence Council. 

This proposition will have to be approved by the French parliament. It will be debated by MPs in January. 

It would mean that proof of recent recovery from Covid and negative Covid test results would no longer be accepted as a means to access certain public venues like bars, restaurants, cinemas and gyms. 

Castex said this was a necessary measure to expand vaccine coverage and take pressure off French health services. 

“Our intensive care services in our hospitals are mostly filled with non vaccinated people,” he said, adding that there would be greater sanctions for those using “fake passes”

“It is unacceptable that the refusal of a few million French people to get vaccinated put the life of an entire country at risk,” he said.

“Our best weapon, our only weapon in reality, is vaccination.” 

Close to six million people in France are still unvaccinated. 

Booster dose eligibility to begin earlier 

The Prime Minister also announced that the window in which people become eligible for a third (booster) dose of anti-Covid vaccine would be reduced from five months to four months, for people who have received two injections already. This change does not need parliamentary approval and will come into force on January 3rd. 

He said that the army would be mobilised to help meet a surge of demand for booster doses. 

The government is currently set to require all over 18s to have a booster dose in order to continue using the health pass in its current form. From January 15th, the clock will start ticking for over 18s to get their booster dose, before their passes are deactivated. 

Christmas gatherings 

Castex recommended that families avoid large meetings over Christmas and encouraged testing before festive gatherings. 

“The less of us there are, the less we are taking risks,” he said. 

“I invite everyone, whatever their vaccination status, to get tested in the hours before a party of family gathering. It could be a PCR test, an antigen test or simply a self-test.”

The Prime Minister called on city authorities to ban “wild gatherings”, fireworks and concerts on New Year’s Eve. He said that prefectures around the country would prohibit alcohol consumption in public spaces. 

A Christmas present for hospital workers 

The Prime Minister also announced that overtime pay in hospitals would be doubled from Monday. 

“We owe them a lot. We owe them our recognition for their commitment during the holidays,” he said.

Castex said that France is approaching the peak of the fifth wave, but must be ready for a “lightning fast” spread of the Omicron variant seen in other European countries. France has already detected hundreds of Omicron cases and the Prime Minister said this strain could become dominant in early 2022. 

Member comments

  1. It’s now 4 months since my last jab . Do I still have to wait til after Jan3 given that a 4-week gap is now considered optimum ??

    1. Good evening. Had you watched the speech or read the French papers afterwards you would have known that the word “weeks” in the article is incorrect. What he actually said was
      Dès le 3 janvier, le rappel sera possible dès qu’on aura passé le délai de 4 mois”
      So yes, after 3 janvier you can get your booster – 4 months instead of five.
      Bonnes fêtes

      1. Thanks for that. Actually ends up as the same delay anyway from what is now considered the new optimum gap.

  2. Not too bad as far as I can see. Anything that makes life more difficult for anti-vaxxers is fine by me…

    1. Clearly this slow coercion of the populace should be speeded up by the Govt simply jumping to the end game and sending in jab squads to forcibly vax the unvaccinated. I’m sure you and Boggy would go along with that.

      1. It beats having our rights of movement and association curtailed because of the conspiracy theories of the few. And just to be accurate, I’m not suggesting forcible vaccination of all the unvaccinated (I.e. not those with a medical reason to not be vaccinated) – just the selfish anti-vaxxers.

        1. You have your shot, you’re free to come and go as you please. How are your rights being curtailed? And if they were to be, it is by the government. The “conspiracy theorists” never demanded that life be made difficult for you.

        2. I have 5 serious autoimmune diseases and medical reasons including life threatening allergies to most pharmaceutical drugs.

          Not considered valid apparently.

          Actually conscience is enough regardless.

  3. Agreed with the other wise commenters. If there’s one thing people should not have the right to do it’s:

    1) Have doubts about the safety of this vaccine
    2) Have doubts about the decisions of those advising our leaders
    3) Have doubts about the intensity of this virus and the need for our society to bunker down for perhaps several years

    Any doubts like these simply require your exclusion from society.

    Why doesn’t Castex just rush this through with 49.3?!?!?!?!

    1. What total and utter garbage! Everyone has the right to choose what they put into their own body. You chose to be vaccinated, as did I, because I have to travel regularly for work. Others have not and that is their absolute right, whether you and your ilk like it or not.

      Being vaccinated doesn’t stop you getting COVID (see Glynis 36 above) and it doesn’t stop you transmitting it to others. I have plenty of colleagues and friends all fully jabbed and have caught it – three more just today.

      The first and second waves were the worst and killed many, that’s what viruses do. They also mutate and this one appears to be becoming weaker as it does so. The Delta and Omicron variants are more infectious but milder and less deadly, that’s obvious.

      If you travelled as regularly as I do, you would know that all the various border regulations are just window dressing. I have re-entered France from Malta, UK, Netherlands, Croatia and Germany in the last three months and on each occasion not even my passport has been checked on arrival and I have a collection of Passenger Locator Forms which nobody has bothered collecting.

      These are facts, first hand experiences, not something I heard from somewhere or somebody else, so get down off your high horse and stop pontificating like a dictator, because what you’re suggesting is exactly that – dictatorship.

    2. Maybe just exterminate dissenters.
      I mean the present route has been seen before.
      I mean – there aren’t any international laws that ban conscience and personal choice.
      Oh, there are but let’s just ignore them all………

  4. I have been double vaccinated and then caught covid before I could have the booster. I have a covid recovered certificate, which has extended the need for a booster, but have been asked for a negative test to continue volunteering locally. I don’t think a test would show as negative for a while, so unsure what I can do?

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COVID-19

Where in France do you still need a face mask?

In France, masks will no longer be required on indoor transport as of Monday, May 16th. Here are rules and recommendations that are still in place:

Where in France do you still need a face mask?

Members of the public in France have been asked to wear face masks for the most part of two years, at times even outside in the street.

Since March 14th, 2022, the facial coverings have no longer been mandatory in most establishments such as shops, and as of Monday, May 16th, it will no longer be mandatory on indoor public transport. 

As of May 16th, you will therefore no longer be required to wear a mask in the following transports:

  • Buses and coaches
  • Subways and streetcars
  • RER and TER
  • TGV and interregional lines
  • Taxis

Regarding airplanes whether or not you must wear a mask is a bit more complicated.

On Wednesday, May 11th, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced that from May 16th onward it would no longer be required to wear a mask in airports and on board aircraft in the European Union. However, Germany has stated that it does not have the intention of lifting its requirement of wearing a mask on its airlines – this would include the Lufthansa airline. Thus, it will be necessary for passengers to still very to rules each airline has in place, which could be the case when travelling to a country that still has indoor mask requirements in place.

EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky specified that vulnerable people should continue to wear masks, and that “a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, to reassure those seated nearby.”

Masks still obligatory in medical settings

However, it will still be mandatory for caregivers, patients and visitors in health care facilities, specifically including hospitals, pharmacies, medical laboratories, retirement homes, and establishments for the disabled. 

For people who are vulnerable either due to their age or their status as immunocompromised, wearing a mask will continue to be recommended, though not required, particularly for enclosed spaces and in large gatherings.

Masks are also still recommended for people who test positive, people who might have come in contact with Covid-19, symptomatic people and healthcare professionals.

Will masks come back?

It is possible. French Health Minister Olivier Véran does not exclude the return of mandatory mask-wearing, should the health situation require it.

What are the other Covid-19 restrictions that remain in place?

The primary restriction that has not changed is the French government’s regulation for testing positive: If you are unvaccinated and test positive, isolation is still required for 10 days, if you are vaccinated, this requirement is seven days. Isolation can be reduced from 10 to 7 days or from 7 to 5 days if a negative covid test is performed, and symptoms are no longer present.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What Covid restrictions remain in place in France?

The French Health Ministry still recommends following sanitary measures such as: wearing a mask in places where it is still mandatory, hand washing, regular ventilation of rooms, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and using a single-use handkerchief (tissue).

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