French Senate amends government bill on COVID-19 restrictions amid protests


Paris [France]: The French Senate has passed a milder version of a bill on wider use of health passes amid nationwide rallies against COVID-19 restrictions.

More than 160,000 people took to the streets of France on Saturday to protest against the bill. The bill initially suggested that from August health passes, which show proof of a full vaccination or recent negative test, be required in cafes, restaurants, medical organizations, on planes and long-distance trains.

The draft regulations provide for compulsory vaccination against COVID-19 for medical personnel, firefighters and people caring for the elderly.

Senators limited mandatory health passes to adults, while the previous draft made them mandatory for people over 12 and excluded terraces and supermarkets from the list of places where health passes are required. The Senate also proposed to postpone the effective date of the new rules from August 30 to September 15 to give citizens more time to prepare.

The bill was passed by the National Assembly, the lower house of the French parliament, two days ago, and the Senate approved the bill on Saturday evening. However, it will also be considered by a joint parliamentary committee on Sunday afternoon.

The initiative allows people aged 16 or 17 to get vaccinated without their parents’ permission and forces people with COVID-19 to self-isolate.

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Posted on: Sunday July 25, 2021 10:25 PM IST

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