September 27, 2021

Minors, employees, transport: the extension of the health pass raises questions

Emmanuel Macron’s announcements relating to the extension of the health pass (full vaccination or negative test of less than 48 hours) created a wave of panic. Among the French who have flocked, since Monday evening, to medical appointment sites in search of available slots to be vaccinated. Among professionals in the sectors directly concerned who began, Tuesday, July 13, to see a little more clearly about the application of the measures announced the day before by the Head of State.

France 24 takes stock of the main clarifications provided by the government:

  • 12-17 year olds exempt from a health pass until August 30

Adolescents aged 12 to 17 are invited to be ‘vaccinated quickly’ but are exempt from health passes until August 30, in places where it will be required from July 21, the Minister of Health announced on Tuesday evening. , Olivier Véran.

‘We have identified a solution for adolescents aged 12 to 17, so as not to spoil the holidays for families. For them, the health pass will apply in all places where it applies, from August 30, ‘said the minister on France 2. Before that, adolescents must’ always keep wearing a mask where it is will be necessary, ‘he said.

‘It is out of the question to impose a hellish summer’ on those under 18, a ‘small number’ of whom have a complete vaccination schedule against Covid-19, the spokesperson said at the exit of the cabinet. government, Gabriel Attal.

Vaccination has been available to adolescents since June 15 – provided they are voluntary, with the agreement of both parents and in the presence of one of them.

  • The health pass valid for one week after the second injection

The vaccination will be recognized as complete in France, as part of the health pass, one week after the injection of the second dose, and no longer two, announced the Minister of Health on Tuesday evening on France 2. ‘Attention, at the level European harmonization work remains to be done, so currently to travel within the EU you have to be vaccinated for two weeks’, however warned Olivier Véran.

  • Health pass in long-distance transport but not for local transport

The health pass will be required in long-distance transport, for both passengers and employees, and will be subject to checks on board. On the other hand, it will not be necessary in local transport, specified the Minister for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, on BFMTV.

TER, Transiliens, metros, buses, ‘mainly used for professional reasons’, ‘are not affected by the requirement of the sanitary pass’. The latter ‘will mainly concern TGV and Intercity trains, coaches that make interregional journeys, and domestic journeys by plane’, indicated Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, journeys by plane to abroad being already subject to the health pass.

In this sector, the checks are carried out by the companies at the check-in counter … often resulting in longer queues. The extension of the system will represent a new challenge, particularly in stations, in the height of the summer season.

‘We expect operators to find solutions so that there is maximum fluidity (…) it is a question that is not easy,’ the president of the Federation told AFP. national association of transport users (Fnaut), Bruno Gazeau, very favorable to an extended health pass.

SNCF said Tuesday that it was working ‘with the government on the terms of application and control, with the objective of defining a simple device to implement’, and promised a communication ‘to travelers in the coming days’.

In addition, the health pass should apply to all employees ‘in contact’ with passengers, in all sectors of long-distance transport. ‘The SNCF controller will have to hold a health pass,’ illustrated the Minister of Transport.

  • ‘Flexibility’ for restaurant and café staff

As for 12-17 year olds, employees of establishments open to the public will benefit from an exemption from the health pass. They must have received their first dose of vaccination no later than 1isAugust, otherwise from August 30 it will be a test every two days if they want to continue working, ‘said Olivier Véran Tuesday evening on France 2.

‘A certain number of’ restaurant and café employees ‘do not yet have their complete vaccination schedule and here too, we will seek to be flexible in the way in which this health pass will apply for these employees’, also had explained Gabriel Attal at the exit of the Council of Ministers.

  • Four areas of concern for shopping centers

Shopping center professionals, who discussed Tuesday afternoon with three ministers – Bruno Le Maire, Élisabeth Borne and Alain Griset – raised ‘four subjects’ of concern, explained to AFP Jacques Creyssel, delegate general of the Federation of Trade and Distribution (FCD). A new consultation is planned at the end of the week or at the beginning of the following week.

On the one hand, knowing which shopping centers will be affected: ‘Is it over 10,000 square meters, 20,000 or over 40,000? All this will be part of the consultation, ‘said Minister Delegate for SMEs Alain Griset, on France Info.

Another question, ‘knowing where the control is carried out, is it at the entrance to the stores or at the entrance to the shopping center?’, Says Jacques Creyssel. The question is thorny because shopping malls are often home to food stores and pharmacies. ‘It would be complicated to tell people who do not have a health pass that they cannot eat, or go to be tested or vaccinated …’

‘Third subject is the vaccination of our employees, namely that many of them, often young, are not vaccinated,’ he continues. Professionals ask for a postponement of the obligation to September 15.

Last issue, that of controls: ‘How are they going to be done? By whom? ‘Asks Jacques Creyssel, who’ told the ministers that this could require the assistance of the police ‘.

  • Tests at the entrance to amusement parks

Amusement parks such as Puy du Fou and Parc Astérix were preparing quickly on Tuesday to set up the health pass in a few days by allowing their visitors to test themselves at the entrance.

‘We share the goal of bringing this epidemic to a definitive end. From July 21, a health pass will be required, except for children under 12, and there should be flexibility up to 18. We will do everything to make our visitors safe: we will offer tests on site, at our main sites, ” Dominique Thillaud, general manager of Compagnie des Alpes, owner of Parc Astérix, Walibi parks and of the Grévin museum, in particular.

‘We are testing our agility as operators, because the deadlines are extremely short,’ he continued. ‘Especially since two-thirds of our visitors are under 35, they were eligible for vaccination late: it’s a big challenge,’ said Dominique Thillaud. At the peak of its peak season, Parc Astérix currently welcomes some 140,000 visitors per week.

  • No health pass in places of worship

Compulsory from July 21 for places of ‘leisure and culture’ gathering more than 50 people, then in restaurants and long-distance transport from August, the health pass does not apply to places of worship because the latter benefit from ‘a’ constitutional protection ‘, Matignon told AFP, confirming information from the Figaro .

The faithful will therefore not have to present this document – which attests to a negative Covid test or a complete vaccination – to go to pray.

The particular importance of freedom of worship has already been stressed twice by the Council of State since the start of the epidemic.

In November 2020, the highest French administrative court had thus retested the maximum level of 30 people in religious ceremonies, a restriction initially imposed by the government. In their decision, the judges considered that the activities carried out in places of worship ‘are not of the same nature’ as those of cinemas or theaters and that ‘the fundamental freedoms which are at stake are not the same’.

Previously, the Council of State had ordered, in May 2020, to lift the ‘general and absolute’ ban on meetings in places of worship, which the government wanted to impose as part of the progressive deconfinement after the first wave.