From Thursday, an initial 20,000 wristbands will be made available for venues requiring a pass sanitaire (health pass) in the most touristic parts of the Gironde département, including Bordeaux, Arcachon Bay and Saint-Emilion, according to the hotel industry group Union des métiers et des industrie de l’Hôtellerie (UMIH).
Regular clients will be able to present proof of full vaccination once, and will then be given a bracelet which acts as a health pass and allows them to access the venue again in the future.
Clients who rely on recent negative Covid tests or proof of recovery from Covid to access the health passport will not be able to use the bracelets, and must continue to use a paper certificate or the TousAntiCovid app.
Laurent Tournier, president of the Gironde branch of the UMIH, told AFP that the goal was to make it easier for clients to access health pass venues. Tournier said “the health pass has noticeably, even very noticeably, reduced the trade” of restaurateurs since its introduction on August 9th.
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“We have clients who return to our venues several times per week, or even per day, and having to ask the same client for their health pass ten times is starting to become annoying for everyone,” Tournier told 20 Minutes on Monday.
He added that 250 businesses had already expressed an interest in the wristbands, but “we hope at least 500 venues will participate”.
“The police will continue to check the pass and not the bracelet,” Martin Guespereau, Deputy Prefect for defence and security told AFP. The UMIH is working with the local préfecture to trial the system.
The wristbands read “pass sanitaire UIMH 33”, and will also include the first three letters of the name of the venue and the town.
Laurent Lutse, president of the cafés, brasseries and nightclubs branch of the UMIH told AFP he had requested guidance from the Interior Ministry, “since we have doubts at a legal level”.
He said “there will need to be a QR code on the bracelet and not a number, otherwise there will be fraud.”
Pass sanitaire dans les trains: gare de Lyon à Paris, des agents accrochent des bracelets au poignet des personnes déjà contrôlées pic.twitter.com/05qkadogy4
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) August 9, 2021
This is not the first time bracelets have been used to facilitate checks. Since August 9th, the SNCF has been checking passengers’ health passes and giving them a blue wristband to show that they do not need to be checked again on the train or when they arrive at their destination.
The difference is that the SNCF’s bracelets are disposable and cannot be reused at a later date.