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France mandates COVID health passes for dining and travel

France's legislature approved a law mandating universal vaccinations for health workers and pandemic passes for all restaurants and domestic travel early Monday local time.

Why it matters: The health protection plans led to tens of thousands of protesters taking to the streets across France over the weekend, as COVID-19 cases surge in the country to about 20,000 a day from a few thousand early in July, per France 24.

The big picture: The "health pass" requires people show online or paper proof of vaccination, or evidence that they have recently recovered from the coronavirus or display a recent negative test.

  • It initially applies to all adults who wish to "enter restaurants, trains, planes and some other public venues," AP notes. It will expand to anyone over age 12 from Sept. 30.
  • "The rules can be applied through Nov. 15, depending on the virus situation," AP reports.
  • Legislators set a Sept. 15 vaccination deadline for all health workers, who face suspension if they fail to comply with the requirement.

What they're saying: President Emmanuel Macron called for unity after visiting a hospital in French Polynesia and noted some people were "in the business of irrational, sometimes cynical, manipulative mobilization," over measures designed to protect people, per AP.

  • "What is your freedom worth if you say to me 'I don’t want to be vaccinated,' but tomorrow you infect your father, your mother or myself?'" he said.

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