Story at a glance
- Special COVID-19 passes are now required in France for individuals attempting to visit landmarks including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.
- The passes are part of a larger plan to slow the surge of cases caused by the delta variant.
- “The world is facing a new wave, and we must act,” Prime Minister Jean Castex said.
Special COVID-19 passes are now required in France for individuals attempting to visit landmarks — including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre — as part of a larger plan to curtail the “stratospheric” rise in new cases.
The French government implemented the new rule by decree on Wednesday, which requires proof of vaccination or a negative test to get a pass, The Associated Press (AP) reported. The pass will be required for all events or places hosting more than 50 people.
“The world is facing a new wave, and we must act,” Prime Minister Jean Castex said, adding that the solution is “vaccination, vaccination, vaccination.”
Health Minister Olivier Véran told lawmakers Wednesday that cases reached an unprecedented 150-percent increase over the past week, according to France 24.
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Juan Truque, an unvaccinated tourist from Miami, told The AP the requirements represent an encroachment on his freedom.
“I wanted to come here with my mom so I had to take the test to be able to travel,” he said. “They are forcing you to wear face masks and do similar kinds of things that are some kind of impositions .. to me that are violations to your freedom.”
Castex said Wednesday 96 percent of France’s 18,000 new cases were among unvaccinated people. French President Emmanuel Macron’s reported vision for the passes would extend to restaurants and other public spaces. The president is additionally seeking to require all health care workers to be vaccinated.
The French parliament debated on Wednesday a bill which would allow Macron’s proposed mandates, according to the AP. Meanwhile, more than 100,000 protesters across the country voiced their opposition to the restrictions last weekend.
France has confirmed nearly 6 million COVID-19 cases and more than 111,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Currently, slightly more than 42 percent of the total population has been fully vaccinated.
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