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France makes health pass mandatory to visit cafes, board trains

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PARIS: France will from August 9 enforce new legislation that will make a health pass compulsory to visit a cafe, board a plane or travel on an inter-city train, the government’s spokesman said Wednesday.

The legislation passed by parliament at the weekend has sparked mass protests in France but the government is determined to press ahead and make the health pass a key part of the fight against Covid-19.

A valid health pass is generated by two jabs from a recognised vaccine, a negative coronavirus test or a recent recovery from infection. The legislation also makes vaccination compulsory for health-workers and carers.

The pass has already been obligatory from July 21 for visits to museums, cinemas and cultural venues with a capacity of more than 50 people. Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said it would also be obligatory in cafes, restaurants, flights and inter-city trains from August 9.

Rising infections driven by the Delta variant, with an average of 19,000 daily cases — 97 percent higher than a week ago — means that the health situation in France “is continuing to get worse and remains worrying”, he added.

Attal’s announcement came as data showed 50 percent of France’s adult population were now vaccinated with two jabs. The government’s health pass strategy makes vaccination its number-one weapon in the fight against Covid-19.


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