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Covid: France rolls out health pass as cases soar

International desk || shiningbd

Published: 15:14, 21 July 2021  
Covid: France rolls out health pass as cases soar

A new Covid health pass has come into effect in France amid a surge of new infections.

From Wednesday, people need proof of vaccination, a negative test or recent recovery from Covid to enter most museums and cinemas.

Later lawmakers will debate whether to extend its use in August for entry to cafes, restaurants and shopping malls.

It comes the day after Health Minister Olivier Véran announced 18,000 new infections in just 24 hours.

This was compared to fewer than 7,000 cases a day last week, a surge of 150%, as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads throughout the country.

"We have never seen this before," he told the National Assembly, saying Delta had led to far larger rises in cases than previous variants, like those first spotted in the UK or South Africa.

President Emmanuel Macron announced the plans for a health pass earlier this month, as well as compulsory vaccination for all health workers by September. Surveys suggest there is widespread vaccine hesitancy in France.

Mr Macron's plans have proved controversial. Protests against new coronavirus rules in France saw demonstrators vandalising two vaccination centres this week.

Shiningbd/Mb