Protests erupt as France introduces new vaccination requirements

Jul 15, 2021

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Editor’s note: This story was updated on July 19. It was originally published on July 15.

On Monday July 12, French President Emmanuel Macron introduced new COVID-19 regulations as the delta variant continues to spread, including limiting cafes, bars and shopping centers to those who are vaccinated or have recently tested negative for COVID-19.

The mandates, which will start in August, compelled more than 900,000 French citizens to book vaccine appointments through the online medical platform Doctolib, as reported by NPR.

Translation: “Yesterday, 926,000 French people made an appointment on Doctolib to be vaccinated (first dose). An absolute record.”

Additionally, Macron announced mandatory vaccination for all health care workers, specifically caregivers and staff in hospitals, clinics, retirement homes, establishments for disabled people and home health workers.

“Our country is facing a strong resumption of the epidemic,” he said on Twitter. “The vaccination of all French people is the only way to return to normal life.”

Related: My experience getting a COVID-19 test in France

Come August, French natives and visitors alike will be required to show proof of vaccination or results of a recent negative PCR test via a digital health pass.

As of July 21, those over the age of 12 will also be required to present a health pass to enter amusement parks or attend concerts, festivals or shows, as a rise in cases has been attributed to people ages 15-44, per NPR.

The restrictions apply to public places with more than 50 people as well as public transit trains and airplanes.

The new health requirements have also set off country-wide protests.

France reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers from “green” countries, the U.S. included, on June 17 with proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated Americans are also welcome as long as they present a negative PCR test or rapid test taken within 72 hours prior to departure for France.

As of today, nearly 40% of France’s population is fully vaccinated. Macron said the goal is to achieve 100% vaccination.

The country will also be rolling out a vaccination campaign for schools in September, as reported by France 24, a French state-owned news network.

“Our choice is simple: to put the restrictions on the unvaccinated rather than on all,” said Macron.

Related: France adds US to ‘green’ list: I’m in the country now — here’s what it’s like and what to expect

Featured photo of French President Emmanuel Macron by Ludovic Marin/Pool/AFP via Getty Images.

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