French health passport ‘could be lifted in certain areas’ says Macron

French health passport 'could be lifted in certain areas' says Macron
Macron and Economy minister Bruno Le Maire at a meeting of the 'U2P' local businesses union. Photo: Christophe PETIT TESSON / POOL / AFP.
French president Emmanuel Macron has affirmed that the Covid health pass had 'produced results' in terms of vaccinations, and hinted that the pass could be lifted in parts of the country where the virus is under control.

“If we could stop the health pass tomorrow, I would be the happiest man alive,” Macron said during a speech in front of small business leaders on Thursday as part of the Rencontres de l’Union des Entreprises de proximité.

“But the health pass was, I think, a fruitful strategy, because it produced results in terms of pushing people to get vaccinated.”

He added: “Will we be able to go without the health pass in two or three weeks? No, because there are still areas which need it.”

The pass, required to access cafés, restaurants, long-distance trains and other venues, is currently in place until November 15th. If the government decides to extend its use beyond that date, it will have to be subject to a parliamentary vote.

And Macron has evoked the possibility of removing the pass in some areas and not others.

“We’re going to keep it, if I may, in the back pocket, to avoid closures which is the worst case scenario,” he said.

“But as soon as the health conditions allow it, and in my opinion, when I look at the figures, it won’t be too long, [we will] allow areas where the virus is circulating less quickly to lift certain restrictions and live normally.”

He added that this would mean “lifting the pass” in areas “where the virus is practically not circulating at all”.

READ ALSO ANALYSIS: Is France really ‘en route back to normal life’ after the pandemic?

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When asked by a member of the public during a visit to the Eure-et-Loir département on Wednesday whether the health passport would be in place beyond November 15th, Macron replied: “There are départements where we’re going to be led to lighten the restrictions according to the evolution of the pandemic, so we’re going to do that as usual with pragmatism.”

Infection rates have shown a continued decline since mid-August, with France now averaging 8,824 new cases per day. As the maps below from Le Parisien indicate, infection rates are falling in all but two mainland départements (Haute-Vienne and Allier).

However, Arnaud Fontanet, a member of France’s scientific council, warned on Tuesday that case numbers could rise again as the weather turns colder.

Member comments

  1. The editors here are an absolute disgrace in how they’ve cheerfully reported on the authoritarian obscenity which is the ‘health pass’. Too busy whinging about Britain and Brexit to see what is going on right under their noses.

  2. I don’t give a damn if I have to wear a mask for the rest of my life, just get rid of this f##k##g health pass. Thanks!

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