Friday, January 28

Vaccine pass: the bill adopted at first reading by the deputies

Unsurprisingly despite several days of heated debates and sitting suspensions, the National Assembly adopted this Thursday, January 6, at 5:25 am, at first reading the bill transforming the health pass into a vaccine pass.

Announced in mid-December by the executive in the face of the resumption of the Covid-19 epidemic, the text was indeed approved by 214 votes in favor, thanks to those of the majority and part of the Republicans (LR) and of the Socialist Party (PS).

Opposite, 93 deputies decided to vote against, most coming from the left of the left and the National Rally (RN), and 3 being dissidents La République En Marche (LREM). Twenty-seven abstained.

Entry into force in January

The bill must now be examined by the Senate dominated by the right and chaired by Gérard Larcher at the beginning of next week, for entry into force initially scheduled for Saturday, January 15 but which should be postponed by a few days.

On this date, those over 12 will have to prove their vaccination status to access leisure activities, restaurants and bars, fairs or interregional public transport. A negative test will no longer suffice, except for access to health establishments and services.

The bill also increases penalties for fraud, while up to “5% of hospitalized patients” would have fake health passes, said Minister of Health Olivier Véran.

some sticking points

Certain points were particularly problematic. Among their retouching amendments, the deputies notably postponed from 12 to 16 years the need for a vaccination pass for school trips and peri and extracurricular activities.

The question of controls also added spice to the discussions, in particular those that can operate cafeterias or restaurateurs in the event of “serious reasons” to believe that there is fraud in the vaccine pass.

While the deputy (ex-LREM) said he feared “a denouncing society”, the LR deputies announced that they would refer the checks to the Constitutional Council on this point.

Prime Minister Jean Castex, however, had come in person the day before the adoption of this bill, in order to convince parliamentarians to speed up, urging them to “debate as quickly as possible”, after the blockage caused by the remarks of Emmanuel Macron.

“Piss off the unvaccinated”

The President of the Republic has indeed shocked many political figures by holding a speech against the unvaccinated. “I really want to piss them off. And so we will continue to do so, until the end. That’s the strategy, ”he said in an interview with the Parisian on Tuesday, adding:“ when my freedom threatens that of others, I become irresponsible. An irresponsible person is no longer a citizen ”.

Summoned to explain himself, Jean Castex first confirmed before the Senate his desire to put pressure on the unvaccinated. “Who is insulting the nation? […] Who leads caregivers in our emergencies to make dramatic ethical choices? Well it is a tiny minority ”, he retorted, defending the words of the Head of State.

While waiting for the text to be definitively adopted in the Senate, the epidemic continues to flare up. Some 332,252 new Covid-19 contaminations were recorded on Wednesday, a new record, while the number of hospitalized patients is increasing, especially in critical care services.

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