The Constitutional Council said extending the health pass to bars, restaurants and other aspects of daily life would not be going against the country’s constitution, in a decision announced on Thursday afternoon.
It also approved plans to require all healthcare workers to be vaccinated by September 15th.
However, the court ruled that forcing anybody who tests positive to isolate for ten days, allowing them out during the day only between 10am and 12pm, would be “a deprivation of freedom”.
It said any limits to people’s freedoms must be “appropriate, necessary and proportionate to the objectives”.
The judges also shot down rules which would have made it possible for companies to terminate fixed term or temporary contracts of people who fail to present a health pass, whereas people on permanent contracts would have been suspended without pay.
They said this “introduced a difference in treatment between workers according to the nature of their work contract which has no link to the objective being pursued”.
They did however approve the possibility of suspending workers who don’t have a pass. This will only apply to workers who interact with the public in venues requiring clients to show a health pass, and employees could have the option of being assigned to a different role within the same company.
The health pass has been required in culture and leisure venues holding more than 50 people since July 21st. This applies to theatres, cinemas, libraries, theme parks, concert halls, festivals, swimming pools or leisure centres, museums and monuments.
The controversial pass, which will become ubiquitous from Monday, August 9th, has sparked mass protests, with critics accusing President Emmanuel Macron of running a health “dictatorship”.
But the Constitutional Council said the restrictions voted by parliament last month represented a “balanced trade-off” between public health concerns and personal freedom.
Visitors to some shopping centres and department stores will also have to produce the health pass, as will visitors to hospitals or care homes, as well as people seeking non-urgent medical care.
But the absence of a health pass must not be an obstacle to patients receiving treatment, the court ruled.