The French parliament has passed a new law requiring all health workers to get vaccinated, and has also mandated special COVID passes for anyone who wants to eat in a restaurant or travel by plane or train.
According to The Associated Press, both measures passed on Monday (July 26) amid protests and tension in the country, with President Emmanuel Macron saying these steps were necessary to protect people and hospitals as case counts rise.
Per the new legislation, all healthcare workers will be required to get vaccinated by Sept. 15 to avoid facing suspension. It also mandates that people display a “health pass” in order to visit restaurants, travel on trains and planes, and enter other public venues. For now, this regulation only applies to adults, but effective Sept. 30, it will apply to everyone 12 and older.
To get the pass, people must have proof they are fully vaccinated, recently tested negative or recently recovered from the virus. Paper or digital documents will be accepted. The law says a government decree will outline how to handle vaccination documents from other countries.
In order to get the health pass, people must show they are vaccinated, and must have either recently tested negative for COVID or recovered from the virus. Both paper documents and digital health passes are acceptable, per the report.
Digital passes have been growing in popularity in recent weeks in both the U.S. and the EU. Germany, Greece and Poland have also begun issuing health passes.
In the U.S., both Walmart and IBM have unveiled digital health passports. In the case of Walmart, people can store their vaccine records in an online pharmacy account and print, share or save them to a device. Read PYMNTS’ recent report on the rise of these passes to learn more.
According to the AP, Macron has called for mass vaccinations to fight the virus and has attacked those protesting the vaccines. Some 160,000 people marched against the new law this weekend, chanting “liberty!”
“What is your freedom worth if you say to me ‘I don’t want to be vaccinated,’ but tomorrow you infect your father, your mother or myself?” Macron responded.
He added that the people are “free to express themselves in a calm and respectful manner,” but said that protests won’t make the virus — which is causing at least 20,000 new infections per day in France — go away