Unvaccinated now barred from French restaurants, sports venues
France on Monday started barring unvaccinated individuals from entering restaurants, bars, tourist sites and sports venues unless they recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection.
The country is now requiring that individuals ages 16 and older present a “vaccine pass” to enter a number of public establishments, according to The Associated Press. The country’s parliament and Constitutional Council approved the initiative last week.
The vaccine pass, however, cannot be required for entry at political rallies, according to France24.
The new initiative comes as the number of daily COVID-19 cases in France has surged to its highest level recorded throughout the pandemic, according to data compiled by The New York Times. The historic infection numbers come as the highly transmissible omicron variant spreads across the globe.
Early data suggests that the omicron strain causes less severe illness in fully vaccinated individuals compared to previous variants of the virus.
Patients with COVID-19 are still filling hospitals in France, but the number of individuals in the country’s intensive care units has decreased in recent days, according to the AP.
While cases have been on the rise in France since the beginning of November, the country has largely avoided enacting mitigation measures in an effort to focus on the vaccine pass, the news wire reported.
The new vaccine pass initiative builds on France’s previous “health pass,” which was required for entry at restaurants and a number of public locations, including transportation. The pass showed proof of COVID-19 vaccination, recent recovery from the virus or a new negative test result.
The pass implemented on Monday, however, does not allow unvaccinated individuals to present a recent negative COVID-19 test for entry to various establishments. Unvaccinated individuals who did not recently recover from the virus will not be able to activate the pass, according to the AP.