With the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the rise, the French MPs approved a law early Monday that make immunizations mandatory for all health workers.
In France where more than 111,000 people have died of COVID-19 President Macron says these new measures have to be put in place to protect the vulnerable. The new bill creates a special pass for people to use showing they are inoculated, had a recent negative COVID-19 test, or just got over the infection.
According to the lawmakers, only adults will need the pass for now, but beginning Sept. 30, everyone 12 and older must have one. Health care workers have to start getting vaccinated by Sept. 15, or they could be suspended from their jobs. The pass will be necessary in order to board planes and trains and enter restaurants and other public places.
French Parliament improved the bill
In fact, the draft of the passed bill was created fast. Last week, the MPs have quickly reached a compromise version that was passed by the Senate on Sunday night and National Assembly early Monday. Taking into account the deterioration of the epidemiological situation in France, a law should protect health workers on the frontline and not only.
On Saturday, about 160,000 protesters demonstrated against the measures, accusing the government of overreach, The Associated Press reports.
Responding to the protesters, Macron spoke out against the far-right politicians pushing anti-vaccine sentiment.
“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 said.
The protesters are “free to express themselves in a calm and respectful manner,” he added, but they can’t wish the virus away.