Covid-19: facing the Omicron “tidal wave”, the vaccine pass takes a step forward in front of the deputies

One ” tsunami “ with an unprecedented level of more than 200,000 Covid-19 contaminations in twenty-four hours: Olivier Véran defended on Wednesday, December 29 the urgency of the bill transforming the health pass into a vaccination pass, which overnight crossed a first step in the National Assembly.

“More than a million French people are currently positive for the coronavirus” and « 10 % of the French population is in contact ”, warned, the deep voice, the Minister of Health, in front of the commission of the laws at the Palais-Bourbon.

The consequence: the mask becomes compulsory again in the streets of Paris for those over 11 years old from Friday, the police headquarters said. For the New Year, she also announced the closure of drinking establishments on Saturday 1is and Sunday January 2 from 2 am. Earlier, the government announced that nightclubs across the country will keep their doors closed for three more weeks in January.

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While the epidemic exceeds thresholds never reached for contamination in France, with 208,000 new cases on Wednesday, the government also intends to accelerate.

Validated on the night of Wednesday to Thursday in committee, the bill “Strengthening the tools for managing the health crisis” will be discussed on January 3 in the hemicycle of the Assembly, then in the Senate from the 5, for an implementation of the vaccination pass on the 15.

There is an emergency because the unvaccinated have “Little chance of passing between the drops, the virus circulates too much”, warned Mr. Véran. Admittedly, the English example tends to show that hospitalizations due to Omicron could be in “Drop of 50 % to 70 % » and “Shorter”. But with a very contagious variant, “The health impact is being felt”, he added.

12-17 year olds concerned

The deputies La France insoumise (LFI) but also some elected Republicans (LR) and a La République en Marche (LRM), Pacôme Rupin, against the tide, sought in vain to remove the article creating the vaccine pass.

Against the opinion of the LRM rapporteur, the deputies voted to adapt the gauges in the stadiums and halls, in proportion to their reception capacity. But the measure may not remain in session.

Several elected officials fought unsuccessfully to exempt minors from 12 to 17 years of age from a vaccination pass. A negative test may be sufficient for school trips, on the other hand voted the majority.

At this stage, the bill transforms the health pass into a vaccination pass “For access to leisure activities, restaurants and drinking establishments, fairs, seminars and trade shows or even interregional transport”, in particular rail. It will therefore be necessary to justify a complete vaccination cycle. ” A test [négatif] will no longer suffice “, Prime Minister Jean Castex summed up Monday, except for access to health and medico-social establishments and services. The Council of State noted that the vaccination pass “Is likely to seriously undermine freedoms”.

The government also proposes to reserve the right to demand a “Accumulation of supporting documents”, or a negative test in addition to the vaccination, when “The interest of public health and the state of the health situation” would justify it.

Controversial identity checks

Managers of establishments open to the public will be able to verify identities themselves. The measure provoked lively discussions in committee, right and left being opposed to a device “Unmanageable” and preferring to rely on the police. The deputies specified that the control will consist for the managers in a simple “Concordance check” from the past with a “Official document with photograph”. An increase in penalties is foreseen in the bill. Presenting a pass belonging to someone else or transmitting a pass to others with a view to its fraudulent use will in particular be punished by a fixed fine of 1,000 euros, compared to 135 euros today.

An amendment allowing administrative fines to be imposed on companies reluctant to telework – at least three days a week where possible – will be proposed by the government on Monday. It also provides for an amendment on the « repentance », that is to say people with false passes and wanting to be vaccinated.

Several opposition officials criticized the vaccination pass, Marine Le Pen (National Rally) and Jean-Luc Mélenchon (LFI) in the lead, evoking “A vaccine obligation” disguised and a “Unenforceable measure”. The Socialist Party group, on the other hand, voted “In principle” for the vaccination pass, like the majority of LR deputies.

The World with AFP

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Covid-19: facing the Omicron “tidal wave”, the vaccine pass takes a step forward in front of the deputies