France is extending a mandate to carry health passes to certain categories of workers as of Monday, marking a new step in the government’s strategy to persuade members of the public to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
The new measure means staff who work face to face with the public – for instance at cafés, cinemas or on public transport – are now required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated or have tested negative for the coronavirus in the last 72 hours.
It will apply to some 1.8 million workers across the country.
Members of the public are already required to carry health passes in order to access eateries and cultural or leisure venues.
‘An important step in President Macron’s vaccination strategy’
While polls suggest a majority of the public supports Covid-19 health passes, their introduction has triggered angry protests throughout the summer, with tens of thousands of protesters staging rallies across the country on consecutive weekends.
The government insists the pass is necessary to encourage vaccination uptake and avoid a fourth national lockdown, with the unvaccinated accounting for most of the Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital.