France approves COVID-19 vaccine pass amid protests – National

The French parliament gave final approval on Sunday to the government’s latest measures to tackle the COVID-19 virus, including a vaccine pass contested by anti-vaccine protesters.

Lawmakers in the lower house of parliament voted 215 in favor to 58 against, paving the way for the law to come into force in the coming days.

The new law, which has been battered by parliament with opposition parties finding some of its provisions too strict, will require people to have vaccination certificates to enter public places such as restaurants, cafes, cinemas and long-distance trains.

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Anti-vaccine protesters rally in France, tell Macron: ‘We’re going to piss you off’

Currently, unvaccinated people can enter these places with the results of a recent negative COVID-19 test. Nearly 78% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to the Health Ministry on Saturday.

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President Emmanuel Macron, who is expected to run for a second term in a presidential election in April, told Le Parisien newspaper this month that he wanted to “piss off” unvaccinated people by making life so difficult for them that ‘they would end up getting the COVID shot.

Thousands of anti-vaccine protesters demonstrated in Paris and some other cities on Saturday against the law, but their numbers were down sharply from the previous week, just after Macron’s remarks.

France is grappling with its fifth wave of COVID-19 with new daily cases regularly reaching record levels of over 300,000. Nevertheless, the number of serious cases placing people in intensive care wards is much lower than that of the first wave of March-April 2020.

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