24 Jan 2022 By travelpulse
On Sunday, the French Parliament issued approval for the government to implement new, toughened measures within its existing Health Pass ("Pass Sanitaire") program. Under the newly tightened protocols, unvaccinated visitors and residents will find they have a difficult time going out on the town.
The Health Pass restrictions require locals and visitors alike to present their vaccination credentials in order to enter many indoor establishments, including bars, restaurants and cafÃ©s (even on outdoor terraces), cinemas, shopping venues, amusement parks, concert halls and sporting and performance venues, among various other public places.
Presentation of a valid Health Pass is also necessary if one wishes to board any means of long-distance public transportation, such as domestic flights, trains and interregional coaches.
Previously, the certification could consist of proof of a person's complete vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test-provided either digitally via the nation's 'TousAntiCovid' or as a paper record. For English and Welsh visitors, U.K.'s NHS COVID Pass is also accepted as a valid COVID-status certificate in France.
On January 15, the government began requiring all persons aged 18 and over to have gotten a booster jab no more than seven months after receiving the final injection of their first vaccination series, or since being cleared of COVID-19 infection, according to Travel + Leisure.
Those who haven't had a booster shot of an approved vaccine are no longer considered fully vaccinated under the new rules, and their Health Passes are considered expired, according to a government website.
The French Health Ministry last week reported that nearly 78 percent of the nation's population had been fully vaccinated, though the country continues to see its share of anti-vaccine protestors.
With the highly contagious and somewhat vaccine-resistant Omicron sweeping the globe, France is currently contending with its fifth wave of COVID-19 infections. New daily average case counts have reached record highs of over 320,000, according to Reuters' COVID-19 tracker.
However, Reuters reported that the number of cases serious enough to put people into the ICU wards of hospitals is much lower than during the initial wave France experienced throughout March and April 2020.
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