France is bracing for protests nationwide over a proposed move to virtually bar all unvaccinated citizens from hospitality venues. Officials from French President Emmanuel Macron’s government have confirmed that the option to provide a negative test in order to access France’s Covid Health Pass will be removed.
This alteration will mean that you must be fully vaccinated in order to gain access to restaurants, cafes, cinemas, and long distance rail services. There is also precedent for civil unrest, such as that seen during November in the French territories of Guadeloupe and Martinique. In that case, violence erupted following the decision to require all healthcare workers to be jabbed.
President Macron was undeterred by the pressure he faces from both left and right wing groups who are opposed to vaccination. He stated:
“I won’t send the unvaccinated to prison. I won’t vaccinate by force. So we need to tell them, from 15th of January, you won’t be able to go to the restaurant anymore, you won’t be able to down one, won’t be able to have a coffee, go to the theatre, the cinema.”
This explanatory statement was made following his hot mic moment earlier in the week, where Le Parisien quoted him as stating that he ‘wanted to piss off’ anti-vaxxers.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recently published a study in Eurosurveillance, estimating that 470,000 lives have been saved across the continent by the swift rollout of vaccines, particularly to the older generations. Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, the WHO Regional Director for Europe, called the vaccines ‘a marvel of modern science.’
Currently France has more than 20,000 people in hospital suffering from Covid-19, the majority of which are unvaccinated.