France, in an effort to curb the still-thriving spread of COVID-19, have implemented a “health pass” system. Commonly referred to as a “Covid passport,” this is a certification system that citizens must show to prove they are vaccinated in order to enter certain public places.
Implemented on Wednesday, public-goers must show either a health pass, or a negative-scored PCR test that is less than 48 hours old when trying to enter any cultural or leisure facility with a 50+ person capacity. This means places like libraries, movie theaters, museums, and sports locations will have to follow this rule. Smaller venues, like restaurants and trains, will be given the same implementation in August.
This is in response to France’s continued difficulty in suppressing the spread of the virus. Having reached a fourth “wave,” the nation has seen a 100% to 200% increase in infection rate the last few months.
This has caused a stir with the citizens and businesses alike. Many locals have expressed displeasure in being put on social restriction until they’ve received a vaccination. Businesses found the new system inefficient, with a fair amount of time being spent on confirming health passes for people to use their services. If they are caught avoiding doing so, they’d be subject to a €45,000 fine.
While some blame the recklessness of locals for the continued virus spread, there are also concerns for control. Some folks have found French president Marcon’s behavior a bit too dictatorial, and are worried that this is the beginning of a power struggle.
Some might see the measures as necessary for the nation, however. France has seen a strong anti-vaccination position this year, going as far as seeing two vaccination centers under physical attack.
Regardless of the morality of the decision, it appears to be working. Since announcing this plan on July 12, France has seen an impressive 3.7 million new appointments for first-time vaccinations. With this in account, that puts the country at Approximately 45% of the total population getting at least their first dose.
Abuse of control and power by one’s government is always a valid concern. But this particular situation is not as black and white. They’re not asking citizens to fight a war, or forcing them to go to a church of their choosing. This is about disease control, which is directly related to keeping their people healthy and safe. But even so, freedom is important.
Vaccinated or not, you best not plan any trips to France for a while.
Photo Source: Indian Express