September 28, 2021

Extension of the health pass: the bill before the Council of Ministers

The Council of Ministers must adopt Monday, July 19 the bill comprising the new anti-Covid-19 measures, including the extension of the health pass, before a step-by-step examination this week by Parliament, under the pressure of the recovery of the epidemic.

The text is presented a week after the announcements by Emmanuel Macron, on which the head of state plays a good part of his credit for the presidential election of 2022. Since the president’s televised intervention, hundreds of Thousands of French people have taken the path to vaccinodromes while opponents of the health pass have displayed their anger in demonstrations.

Bad health figures are on the increase. The number of new daily cases jumped, according to figures released Sunday by Public Health France, at a time when the government sounded the ‘alarm bells’ in the face of this upsurge. The health agency reported 12,532 cases detected in 24 hours, the highest level for a Sunday since mid-May.

Record d’injections

The strong measures of the text prepared by the government – compulsory vaccination for caregivers and extension of the health pass (proving complete vaccination, a recent negative test or immunization) to access trains or bars and restaurants in particular – are supported by a vast majority of the population.

The objective, shared by other European countries facing the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, is to relaunch vaccination massively and to prevent a fourth epidemic wave from leading to a return of containment or cover measures. -fire when the economy starts up again.

The French did not wait for the law: a record of 879,597 injections was reached on Friday.

The bill must be presented Tuesday at the end of the day in committee in the National Assembly, then in the hemicycle the next day. It will be Thursday the turn of the Senate, dominated by the right, to examine the text with a view to final adoption by the end of the week, at the end of the extraordinary session in July.

Deputies and senators could quite quickly agree on this text which is the subject, on its principles, of a rather broad approval, except La France insoumise and the National Rally.

However, in the detail of the measures, the elected representatives of the left, of the right and also of the presidential majority intend to seek the best balance between protection of the population and restriction of freedoms.

Convince the doubtful

Faced with these measures, a stronger than expected mobilization of anti-vaccines has manifested itself in recent days.

The Interior Ministry counted 136 rallies on Saturday that brought together 114,000 people, including 18,000 in Paris, to protest against the extension of the health pass and the ‘dictatorship’ it represents for some.

At the head of the procession appeared in Paris the former number 2 of the National Front Florian Philippot and the sovereignist Nicolas Dupont-Aignan – both presidential candidates – but also the singer Francis Lalanne or the former LREM deputy covidosceptic Martine Wonner – ousted from the Liberties and Territories parliamentary group for calling on demonstrators to ‘invade the offices’ of other deputies.

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal described these anti-vaccine demonstrators as a ‘capricious and defeatist fringe, a very small minority, which would be happy to remain in chaos and inactivity’, in an interview on Sunday with the daily Le Parisien. He opposed them ‘the laborious and proactive France, which wants to put the virus behind it and work’.

But between the convinced and the most hostile, ‘there are obviously French people who sincerely doubt, to be convinced’, admitted the government spokesperson, calling on each of the 37 million vaccinated to help him, ‘in his circle family, friendly or professional ‘.